Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day

Well, here we are at last, Obama is about to become a historic 44th US President. Whatever he does he has made history. His choice to use the words of the protest song "A Change is Gonna Come" at his acceptance speech back in November was inspired –harking back to the Civil Rights Movement and the changes the very fact of his election represented in American Society. It also suggests someone looking towards the future, knowing that change is ongoing and never complete. It was certainly a more inspired choice of song than New Labour's use of the twee "Things Can Only Get Better" after the 1997 UK General Election that overthrew 13 years of Tory rule, and promised a bright new future. And we are seeing what has happened to that future right now!

Bright new futures of course are the stuff of fairy tales. The good times don't last (especially if they are spun out of the fairy dust that was the debt fuelled boom of the last decade). And as Enoch Powell once said, "all political careers end in failure". Nevertheless, while not swept along by the general euphoria that comes with the beginning Obama's presidency (and which may be as much to do with the end of Bush's eight disastrous years of power), I am still praying for the man whose choices will affect so much of the world that had no say in his election. He has the chance to make a difference – maybe not as much as so many hope, maybe not as little as the cynics are saying. He is but a man, but a man with power, and whose choices can lead to good or ill. My prayer is that, at least for the next four or eight years we see a President over the Pond who chooses good.

Time will judge how God answers that prayer

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