By L.A. Williams, Correspondent
Christian Action League
January 11, 2013
RALEIGH — Lawmakers came to Raleigh Wednesday to get themselves organized and energized for the real work set to begin Jan. 30. Amid the pomp and ceremony of the opening session, the sea of red attire as the Republicans gained seats and the enthusiasm from so many new faces (including that of the governor), the Rev. Mark Creech reported an even more exciting development — “a spirit of hope and joy tempered with humility.”
“I must tell you that I have never experienced a day during my 14-year tenure at the North Carolina General Assembly quite like this one,” said the Rev. Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League. “Among freshmen lawmakers — 33 percent of legislators are serving their first term — there are so many wonderful followers of Christ that I met for the first time.”
He said one very moving moment was when public officials representing all three branches of government — executive, legislative and judicial — were packed together with supporters and constituents in the small Chapel between the chambers.
“They were there to sing their praises and give thanks to a sovereign God. They sang hymns like, ‘Victory in Jesus,’ and ‘Take My Life and Let It Be,'” Dr. Creech said. “They earnestly prayed, asking God to give them wisdom to govern in a way pleasing to him.”
After senators and representatives took their oaths of office, they elected Sen. Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) to his second term as Senate president pro tem and Rep. Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg) once again as Speaker of the House. Republicans announced they would concentrate on tax reform, cutting government regulations and improving education. They passed rules limiting to 10 the number of bills introduced by any one lawmaker and barring lobbyists from the Senate floor for a 15-minute “cooling down” period after each session. Even with veto-proof majorities in both chambers, GOP leaders also promised less partisanship than in the past two years.
That kind of cooperation requires leadership from above, Dr. Creech said, all the more reason he was encouraged by the chapel prayers.
“They thanked God for their calling, acknowledging that their election and appointments were by his hand. Therefore, they were there to serve and not to be served,” he added. “They even prayed that God would guard them from petty bickering and personality struggles that His glory might more eminently shine.”
Buoyed by the lawmakers’ expressions of faith and reliance on the Almighty, Dr. Creech credited the changes to the many earnest prayers of Christians across the state and implored that they continue.
“I believe this new spirit of hope and humility is the culmination of many Christian actions made with the hope of the redemption of our culture,” he said Wednesday. “I beg of believers not to drop their guard now and neglect to continue to pray and support these whom God has sent. Prayers are needed now more than ever.”
Leaders of the Legislature now have about three weeks to set up committees so they can began filing bills when they return to the Capital at month’s end.
Christians are urged to keep an eye on the CAL Web site and sign up for weekly e-mailed updates as the League provides analysis of legislation and advocates for lawmakers to govern from a Christian worldview.