I remember watching civil rights workers being hosed down by police on the national news. I remember the march on Washington to which hundreds of thousands of people traveled on a hot summer day to hear that "I Have a Dream" speech. I remember President Johnson signing into law the Voting Rights Act. I remember the days, forty years ago this past April and June, when Dr. King and Senator Kennedy were gunned down. I remember wondering if we would ever overcome these losses as a country.

Now I have new memories, and these are realized hope. Last night I watched as the United States of America elected Senator Barack Obama as our next president.

As a person of faith, as an ordained minister, I have never separated what I believe about God from what I practice in my politics. I do not believe that God is a member of the Democratic party, but I do cherish the theological understanding that God always stands with the poor, the downtrodden, those who cannot defend themselves, those who must rely on those who seek justice to pave the way for something better to emerge in the lives of all people. This is, quite simply, what Jesus did with his life.

This is the hope I see for our country once more after eight very long years of leadership from people who by all accounts appear not to share my perspective, theological or political.

I believe we now have a chance to transform ourselves into a country that cares more about people than about controlling the world through aggression. I believe that shared power strengthens people, just as informed faith expands our vision of who and what God is and can be. I believe that allowing ourselves to be instruments of God's faith, hope and love can and does change the world in ways of which we can never conceive or possibly dream. I believe that God With Us is the most powerful force on the planet.

Many people shook their heads, amazed at what they were watching as the electoral map unfolded. "I never thought I would see this in my lifetime," became a mantra. Tear-streamed faces reflected the truth that, indeed, we have overcome something significant and having come this far we can never go back. We can no longer pretend that change isn't possible, that hope is not an active verb, that we cannot create a larger reality of peace and justice that is inclusive of all people. We can no longer ignore the contributions of all Americans as the will of the few without calling those few to accountability for their actions. As people of faith this election and its results have called us to a new beginning of hope that can no longer be denied or passed off as an impossible dream.

The Letter to the Hebrews speaks of these things called hope and faith in two, concise sentences that remind us of what we can do when we hope, when we believe that God gave each of us the opportunity to be here and to make a difference in the world: Let us hold fast our confession of hope without wavering, for God who has promised is faithful (Hebrews 10:23); Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen(Hebrews 11:1). We didn't think we would see this day in our lifetimes, but we have. Our faith has brought us here and it will lead us into the future if we allow ourselves to be led by God, a God that seeks truth and justice for all people, through all people.

Author's Bio: 

The Rev. Cory L. Kemp, a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay with a double major in Communication and the Arts and Social Change and Development and a minor in Women's Studies, was ordained into the ministry of the Moravian Church in North America after completing her Master of Divinity degree studies through Moravian Theological Seminary. Over twenty-five years of experience in individual and community ministries gives Rev. Kemp an informed perception about faith, its implications and struggles in everyday life. Rev. Kemp focuses her work on helping people understand their faith and how faith can become transformational in their lives. Bring authentic, meaningful faith into your daily life by visiting www.creatingwomenministries.com and downloading your complimentary copy of the new Special Report, "7 Ways To Bring Authentic, Meaningful Faith Into Your Daily Life."