Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Defining Moment: Lessons on Grace and History

At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

"Let it be told to the future world ... that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive... that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it]."

America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested, we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back, nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.

The 44th President of The United States of America, Barrack Hussein Obama ends his inaugural address with these brilliant words from George Washington. I love the way the speech ended especially when we’re all in doubt about the wars, economy, terrorism…the list goes on!

The President is looking back at history to capture some of the mood of the nation during tough times, tougher perhaps, that he is talking about a situation where nothing would survive but hope and virtue. A lot of us can think of situations like that when it feels like we’re standing on shifting sand, everything we held dear being shattered and all we got is, Hope. This President ran his campaign on this message of Hope. The message captured the imagination of a lot of people, young and old, men and women alike. I guess you need to be an African American to fully understand how much this means, to generations who suffered.

Hope comes from things unseen, ultimately transcendent. It’s faith in a God and His Grace. Martin Luther King Jr., like The Founding Father of this nation, talked about "Promises and Hope". God gave him a vision of this day coming to fruition, of God's Grace for the free world. Grace works along faith. What is Faith? Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen," writes the author of Hebrews. Our President is referring to this faith of a hope in things not seen! The Leader is one among us but our focus is on the mountain top, on the horizon, fixed on an unseen Creator, in control of our destinies.

Grace is mentioned in the Hindu texts, especially in the Bhakti tradition as 'Kripa'. Bhagavat Gita (Verse 18:66). Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th Century also talks about Grace in the ‘Bhaja Govindam’ It is mentioned in the Quran (42:26). The 'Guru Granth Sahib' talks about a Gracious God. In the Ancient Hebrew texts of the Old Testament/Torah, Noah finds Grace in the eyes of the Lord. Again, mentioned in Psalms and in the book of Esther.

As much as, the first African-American President is a defining moment in history, a perfect and sinless God in flesh, dying for our sins is 'The Defining Moment'. He fulfills the traditions and revelations in a lot of different religions. Something that the different races, tribes and religions were promised in their texts. Our hope is in Eternal Glory because of the willful act of submission of Jesus. It is when we bend our knees at the Cross that the Grace of God starts to renew us. There is no book in the world that deals with ‘Grace’ as much as the New Testament. M.K. Gandhi, The Father of India and the modern day symbol of non-violence often quoted from the New Testament. The Grace, which has no parallel in history.

Grace for us from a God who so loved us. Saving Grace! To save us into God’s kingdom! A kingdom bigger than what our President referred to in his speech. The King of Kings starts to rule our hearts. Our souls that he purchased with a Grace that we didn’t deserve. This is not dependent on our works or deeds because we all fall short. Isa, Yeshua, Hey-sus, Jesus, Yesu..Whatever you call him, He has given me Grace and I have quit trying to earn it. Yes! Only this ‘Saving Grace’ is all sufficient and will forgive and free us and our generations to come! Where sin increased Grace increased too and we need it today, in this world. May God pour out His Grace on this President, this country and the world. Let us endure this test and have Eternal hope and focus on the virtues of a Kingdom beyond this one.

Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added on to you...maybe, that's what God is telling us right now! Amazing Grace!


  1. For what it's worth - I suspect that Barack is a closet atheist (or at the very least, a humanist). I say this because he seems to understand where an atheist comes from. He writes in Audacity of Hope oh his mother, who was a humanist: "...She had an unswerving instinct for kindness, charity, and love, and spent much of her life acting on that instinct. … Without the help of religious texts or outside authorities, she worked mightily to instill in me the values that many Americans learn in Sunday school: honesty, empathy, discipline, delayed gratification, and hard work. She raged at poverty and injustice, and scorned those who were indifferent to both."

    Check out this homage to his mother Ann Dunham on Flickr

  2. Dear Fellow Traveller,

    Thanks for your comments! I believe in the "Power of Prayer". I am yet to see another nation in the world, where quite a few people take this seriously and actually pray for the leaders. When was the last time anyone prayed for Dr. Manmohan Singh? That's why this country is unique and blessed to a great extent.

    Take the biography of Lincoln, who people accused as not being a church member or religious enough :-). Through His presidency, he changed and one of his last words before he died, were that, "He wants to go to Jerusalem". I believe, people prayed for Him.

    As for the conservatives who want Obama to fail, the less said the better.

    Thanks buddy for your comments. Visit back! Your thoughts are appreciated.