Whether installed by election, by hereditary right, or by power of arms, of all the rulers humankind has ever had, none is so venerated or cited or-and this is important-none so forgiven by history as is Solomon. Faced with the opportunity to enjoy unmediated power and enormous wealth, he elected instead to ask of heaven the gift of an understanding heart that he might discern between good and evil and thereby judge rightly amongst the various demands and desires of his people. No leader could ask for more, but only a very foolish one would ask for less, especially on this first morning of your life as president-elect. Both heaven and we, the people, are listening.
Phyllis Tickle (www.phyllistickle.com ) is the founding editor of the religion department of Publishers Weekly and author of The Words of Jesus: A Gospel of the Sayings of Our Lord  and the forthcoming fall release, The Great Emergence: How Christianity Is Changing and Why.