President Barack Obama stood before an audience of distinguished Christian clergy and lay leaders and took on the mantle of pastor in chief.
"I have to be careful," he joked at the White House's annual Easter prayer breakfast. "I am not going to stand up here and give a sermon. It's always a bad idea to give a sermon in front of professionals."
With that, he gave a sermon, telling the story of Christ in the garden of Gethsemane and his eventual crucifixion, a sacrifice that "puts in perspective our small problems relative to the big problems he was dealing with."
Few presidents have spoken about their religious faith as often, as deeply or as eloquently as Obama. "We worship an awesome God in the blue states," he declared at the 2004 Democratic convention, and he has sought since then to rebuild ties between the Democratic Party and the world of faith.