Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Day of Reckoning

President-elect Barack Obama is quite different from Reverend King. Obama has never been a pastor; he did not grow up in the segregated South; and Obama has been elected to a political office, while King held a prophetic office (by personal conviction and seeming acclamation). Yet four years may provide a sad resemblance. The chances for disenchantment seem eerily similar. If 2008 hearkens back to 1963, will 2012 be reminiscent of 1967? As so many politicians and pundits have commented, Obama will become President with more crises on his hands than fingers. His followers voted for “change” but what will change mean in manifest form?

The potential for dashed dreams and unfulfilled prophecies is high. How shall we avoid disappointment? How can we not get stuck in a nightmare of a dream? If “Yes We Can” sounds as distant in 2012 as “I Have a Dream” did in 1967, where will we turn for help? Perhaps we should turn to the words of another American prophet, W. E. B. Du Bois, and link them to the vision of King. Du Bois, who died only a day before King’s epic speech, called Americans not to dream, but to wake up. “Awake, awake” he implored Americans as the prophet Isaiah had for the Israelites. Seeing the “day of reckoning” at hand, Du Bois charged Americans to “put on thy strength.” King and Du Bois knew – and President-elect Obama knows—that faith takes works, hope demands honesty, and love needs justice. {full post}
[via Religion Dispatches, HT: Ponderings on a Faith Journey]

No comments:

Post a Comment