Earlier this summer, there was a big debate about whether God has any place in the Democratic Party platform.
You see, when the Democrats met in 2008, God was there.
But in 2012, He got taken out.
There was a little uproar.
So they had a vote to put Him back in. You saw the video, and you know the rest of the story.
I wonder what God thought of all that.
None of us can know the mind of God, but I think it’s safe to say that God wasn’t too worked up about it.
God doesn’t depend on political party platforms.
God doesn’t need a majority vote.
God doesn’t need our permission to enter our lives.
God exists. God loves. And God is always there, whether we want him in our lives or not.
That is an incredibly powerful idea: God is with us, always.
Even the most powerful men have depended on God.
Every man who occupies this office finds himself turning to God, at one point or another.
Each one of them.
No matter how confident. No matter how powerful. No matter how mighty.
The most powerful person on the planet works here.
And when things get tough, he will bend his head in prayer.
Put his face in his palms and drop down.
And he will ask God for guidance. For truth.
I’m so grateful to live in a nation where the president prays.
I don’t care who sits in that chair.
As long as he recognizes that there are some moments beyond his wisdom… beyond his power… moments where God is necessary, that is good enough for me.
Because God is necessary for everyone.
If God is there for presidents, he is surely there for us.
He is in signs seen and unseen…. In moments of pain and moments of joy.
He moves the heavens and the oceans… and yet He can be found in a quiet breeze.
And so I am asking you today: Bring God into your life. Make room for Him.
You don’t have to be the president to call on God’s wisdom.
God is there for the big moments. And He is there for the little ones, too.
I am asking everyone, starting today, to take time to rebuild your relationship with God.
You don’t need a crisis.
You don’t even need a church.
Just take a moment. Reflect on everything you are… everything you have been…everything around you.
Ask yourself: Am I responsible for it all? Am I the master of all that comes before me?
Is all this mine… and mine alone?
The answer will humble you.
But the answer will open your eyes.
God is the author of our story.
Only God has the wisdom to see where it will all lead. Only God has the grace to show us the way…. If we are willing to follow Him.
I have asked everyone to spend some time – even just one minute a day – for the next 40 days and 40 nights. We have 40 days and 40 nights until the election.
These are days of great anxiety, great peril, for this nation.
We need God’s wisdom. God’s guidance. God’s love.
We need to serve God.
Have faith in Him. Discovery his Truth. Commit acts of Charity.
Every day. Every night. 40 days and 40 nights.
You know the reference.
You know that Noah rode his ark for 40 days and 40 nights. You know that Moses ascended Mount Sinai, and returned with the Scripture after 40 days and 40 nights.
It’s a special number. In today’s hyperconnected world, where time is measured in nanoseconds and ideas are measured in tweets, 40 days and 40 nights are an eternity.
But that’s how God measures time. In eternity.
And think about what we must look like to God… what our lives and worries must appear to be in the vastness of time.
A mere flicker of light… a momentary burst of energy and then… we’re gone.
If we use that moment for good… if we use that moment to bring beauty into this world… to raise up truth… to do acts of charity…
Maybe God will take notice.
Maybe God will gaze on our brief moment on this planet, and say: “This one, this life… is a good one. This was worth the effort.”
That’s what these next 40 days and 40 nights are about.
Making sure that we are worth the effort of our creation.
That we DO something, every day and every night, to justify our time on this planet.
We can have confidence that we will be noticed. We can be sure that our work will endure.
We have what Martin Luther King called “cosmic companionship.”
God is with us.
God is not indifferent. God does not look away.
He numbers every grain of sand and names every star in the sky.
Today is Yom Kippur. It is the Jewish day of atonement, the holiest day of the year.
Jews fast from sundown Tuesday to nightfall Wednesday.
They are to focus, like no other time of the year, like no other moment in their lives, on reconnecting with God.
They read from the prophet Isaiah: Rise up, rise up! The prophet says. Awake from your slumber…
The rest of the year we are asleep. On Yom Kippur, Judaism teaches us, we are finally awake!
It is a day from which we can all learn.
For today, the Jewish faith teaches us, God listens to the prayer of every man, woman and child. God draws near...
The gates of heaven are open… and we all stand before Him…just as we are. As plain as the day we were born.
Neither the wealthy… nor the powerful… nor the famous… are any better or any worse than the lowliest among us.
Some of us look forward to that moment of communion with God.
Some of us fear it.
But none of us can avoid it.
That is the message of this holiday. Yom Kippur. We are all God’s children. He knows each of us. And we must account for our actions, each one of them.
These next 40 days… they can be days of reconnection… of service… of hope… of love.
They can be days of action… of determination… of change.
Rise up, rise up!
You can fill these days with purpose.
Or let them slip away.
But the clock is ticking.
The days are falling away.
I’m asking each of you to do something great.
Pray. Serve. Love.
What happens next, we may not be able to control.
We can’t be certain what will happen next.
Or whether we can be the difference.
Remember… God is the author of our story. Only He knows how time will unfold.
But as every man who has sat here knows….
Against that mystery… against the doubt…against the fear
We need all the help we can get.
And that is why we pray.
Here, in this office… and at home… wherever we live.
Thanks for watching.
God bless you, and may God bless this Republic.