October 03, 2012 - During the dedication of the cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, President Abraham Lincoln delivered one of the most memorable speeches in American History.
His speech, known as the Gettysburg Address, was to recognize the awesome sacrifices made during the Civil War in order to preserve the Union and to liberate the slaves in the confederacy.
He declared that our democracy must be "for the people, by the people and of the people." This declaration affirmed the source of power and strength of a democracy.
Although this declaration was meant to affirm the efforts for equality and the power of the people, we must also see the opposite side of the declaration. If a democracy is for, by, and of the people, we must recognize the awesome responsibility the average citizen holds.
As we approach the coming election, the candidates are going to try to convince us that if we vote for them, they will implement a plan of action to save and secure our future.
The choices we make in the coming election will be very important, but we must also understand that if the source of authority comes from the people, the strength must also come from the people. In the end, politicians cater to the people—not the other way around.
If we are to face the uncertainty of times with confidence, we must also seek for a change in the attitudes and actions of the everyday citizens.
It isn't just Washington that is in a sea of debt. Our consumer-oriented society has much of the responsibility for the planning of the future.
Can we complain about Washington when we do the same things in our personal lives? I often hear of the moral decay we are served by popular culture in the way of songs, movies, and other media. Would the media moguls sell these products if no one was buying them?
Many complaints have surfaced over the risky ventures of Wall Street, but is our craving for risky, high-yielding investments part of the drive? I am sure it is.
We need change in the high levels of our government; but as the citizens, we must understand that real change will start at the bottom, not the top. It is time for revival in America!
The scripture tells us to "Repent and be converted in order that times of refreshing may come from the throne of God."
To "repent" means to "have a change of mind," to "convert" means to "have a change of direction."
We do not have to be people who are just carried with the tide of the times, nor should we see ourselves as powerless because we are not sitting in a seat of power or authority.
The power to change is within the individual and their willingness to accept the responsibility of making change. America has been a country that extols the power of the individual.
Individuals who have made the right choices have been the catalysts for great change. Millions have come to this country over the years because they believed that this country offered the opportunity for greatness for those who would pursue it.
The power is in the individuals. Now is the time to not just use that power for personal gain, but to preserve our future by returning to the principles that made us the great nation we are.
As a pastor and Christian, my goal is to remind people that we must be "One nation, under God." God was the source of inspiration for many of our founders—and must be for us today, as we seek to secure our future!
The Rev. Loren Covarubbias is pastor of Mt. Zion Temple.