Kennedy remembered for his faith, hopefulness

Published on Friday, 22 November 2013 22:39 - Written by By Rebecca Hoeffner

This week, we are remembering President John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated 50 years ago Friday.

People who were old enough to remember Ken-nedy’s prin- ciples have recalled his commitment to justice and freedom in our stories about him.

In his speeches, Ken-nedy had a commitment to improving civil rights. He had a concern for those in poverty. He was dedicated to keeping Americans safe from threats abroad. He was concerned for the elderly and children in need of education.

Kennedy’s priorities remind of God’s requirements in a famous verse in the Biblical book of Micah:

“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

In his acceptance speech for the Democratic nomination for president in 1960, then-Senator Kennedy talked not about political promises, but about how much Americans would have to fight to get good things accomplished. His political promises were challenges.

“We are not here to curse the darkness; we are here to light a candle,” he said.

The same is true about America today; we have to fight for peace and justice and freedom. As they say, nothing worth having comes easily. Kennedy seemed to understand that.

But I think God honors our perseverance. As the verse says, “seek” justice. We can’t just wait for it to fall into our laps. It has never worked that way.

Kennedy knew it would be difficult, but he had two things on his side: faith and hope.

“Recall with me the words of Isaiah: ‘They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary.’ As we face the coming challenge, we too, shall wait upon the Lord, and ask that he renew our strength,” he said. “Then shall we be equal to the test. Then we shall not be weary. And then we shall prevail.”