Easter Sunday has come and gone, but the eternal truth of the Easter story for Christians doesn't fade after one Sunday. The fact is, we as Christians, celebrate and serve a risen Savior 365 days a year.<
So, perhaps it's fitting that the White House Easter Prayer Breakfast was scheduled one week after Good Friday. In the White House East Room, about 150 pastors and Christian leaders attended.
President Obama thanked his guests for their "good works" and shared his thoughts about his recent trip to the Holy Land, highlighting his visit to Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity and the many others who visited the site seeking to follow Christ's example.
"In these sacred days, those of us as Christians remember the tremendous sacrifice Jesus made for each of us," he said. "How, in all His humility and His grace, He took on the sins of the world and extended the gift of salvation."
He also encouraged the White House guests to recommit themselves to Jesus's example and teachings.
"While our time on Earth is fleeting, His life is eternal," President Obama said. "This morning, let us pray we are worthy of His many blessings. That this nation is worthy of His many blessings."
Vice President Joe Biden introduced the president. During his opening remarks, he discussed faith's role in fostering unity and mutual support. Referring to Matthew 25 in the New Testament, Biden described a guiding philosophy of the Obama White House.
"One of the things that I think at least the president and I believe has been the essence of this administration is the most animating principle of the administration has been just that,: to look out for the least among us," Biden said. "Those are the values that I know that the president -- and I personally know -- the president holds extremely close to his heart."
Per the White House, the breakfast is a tradition that started in 2010 and is "an opportunity for the president to personally honor Easter and the resurrection of Jesus Christ."
Some of the scheduled guests included Dr. Joel Hunter, of Northland Church; Bishop T.D. Jakes, of the Potter's House; Sister Simone Campbell, NETWORK; Archbishop Demetrios, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America; and Dr. Leith Anderson, with the National Association of Evangelicals.
Last weekend, during his weekly address, Mr. Obama offered a more personal account of what Easter means to him.
"As Christians, my family and I remember the incredible sacrifice Jesus made for each and every one of us - how He took on the sins of the world and extended the gift of salvation. And we recommit ourselves to following His example here on Earth. To loving our Lord and Savior. To loving our neighbors. And to seeing in everyone, especially 'the least of these,' as a child of God."