Posted by: Laura Harbert Allen | January 24, 2009

The Obama Inauguration

Tuesday, January 20, 2009, has lodged forever in my memory as a historical day in America. It was the day after the 80th birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. It was a cold day for those who gathered in Washington DC to be participant observers at the celebration.

Unfortunately, I had to go to Nashville, Tenn. to attend the inaugural meeting of the United Methodist Hymnal Revision Committee. My flight landed in Nashville about ten minutes behind schedule. I was not further delayed, because I had my carryon bag and did not need to go to baggage claim. Instead, I went directly to the taxi stand and boarded the first cab in line. The driver took me expeditiously to the UM Publishing House where the hospitality team greeted me and escorted me to the large meeting room.

A crowd of about two hundred people had gathered in the meeting room to participate in the Publishing House’s annual King Day celebration. The celebration was a fitting tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. and the legacy that he left us with. King was a drum major for justice and peace.

At the end of the service we began to watch the inauguration on a large projection screen. The King Service was an appropriate prelude to the inauguration Of President Obama.

Where were you during the presidential inauguration? Did you watch the event alone or did you watch it with other people?

Wherever you were at the time of the inauguration, you will have for a lifetime a vivid memory of the experience.

The inauguration was a moving experience for a variety of reasons. Lord, we have come this far by faith. Just how far have we come by faith?

The assembly of people at the UM Publishing House was enthusiastic and exuberant. We clapped with the throng attending the inauguration as though we were there with them; and we stood up when the crowd stood up.

What was going on in the place where you were hanging out on Inauguration Day? For me it was an atmosphere of celebration and thanksgiving. It was an intensely emotional time. It was God’s time. It is always God’s time. Because it is God’s time it is a new day.

Dear God, please grant wisdom and courage to President Obama as he leads this nation. Amen



  1. It was indeed a wonderful day. On Monday evening I preached at Bridgewater UMC for the Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration. On Tues. family and friends gathered at my home for a Obama celebration. We watched as our new president was swored in as the 44th president of these United States. We had prayer for he and his family. It was quite emotional. I give God thanks for I thought I would never see an African American as president. I truly believe that the US is better and will overcome the difficulties that we are having under President Obama’s leadership.
    We should pray each day for he and his family.

  2. Bishop Devadhar closed the conference office and called the staff together to watched as Barack Obama was swored in as the 44th President of the U.S. What day, what a day!!! I pray that we will not expect more of President Obama then we would of a white president. He is still a man and not our Savior. I pray that God will give him wisdom and courage for the facing of these days.
    Be blessed.

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