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Obama: Holy Land Visit Before Easter 'Brings Scripture to Life'

( [email protected] ) Apr 05, 2013 12:27 PM EDT
President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden hosted Friday morning around 150 Christian leaders from across the country at a White House prayer breakfast. Obama shared his reflection on his recent trip to the Holy Land.
President Barack Obama speaks during an Easter Prayer Breakfast in the East Room of the White House in Washington, April 5, 2013. AP

President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden hosted Friday morning around 150 Christian leaders from across the country at a White House prayer breakfast. Obama shared his reflection on his recent trip to the Holy Land.

The White House calls the meeting "a time of prayer [and] reflection." Obama has hosted it since 2010, and has used it and a separate larger National Prayer Breakfast held annually to reflect on the importance for him of religious faith and humility in grappling with the nation's problems, according to Voice of America.

“In these sacred days, those of us as Christians remember the tremendous sacrifice Jesus made for each of us; how, in all His humility and His grace, He took on the sins of the world and extended the gift of salvation," said the President.

This year was particularly special for him because he had a chance to feel the Easter spirit while visiting Jerusalem, where "Jesus healed the sick, and cured the blind, and embraced the least of these."

"There are few experiences more powerful or more humbling than visiting that sacred earth. It brings scripture to life. It brings us closer to Christ.

At the church of Nativity in Bethlehem, he prayed and reflected on "Christ’s birth, and His life, His sacrifice, His Resurrection."

"I thought about all the faithful pilgrims who for two thousand years have done the same thing, giving thanks for the fact that, as the book of Romans tells us, ‘Just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.’

“I thought of the poor and the sick who seek comfort, and the marginalized and the forsaken who seek solace, and the grateful who merely seek to offer thanks for the simple blessings of this life and the awesome glory of the next.”

Obama closed his speech with a prayer, asking the faith leaders to pray for the country and the blessings bestowed upon the nation by God.

“Let’s pray that we’re worthy of His many blessings, that this nation is worthy of His many blessings,” he said. “Let us promise to keep in our hearts, in our souls, in our minds, on this day and on every day, the life and lessons of Christ, our Lord.”