State of the Union


PresSealThis past Tuesday, our President delivered the annual State of the Union or “SOTU.” Here are some interesting facts about the “SOTU” speech from history…

  • From 1790 to 1946, the “SOTU” was named “the Annual Message.”
  • The first radio broadcast of the speech was in 1923 with President Calvin Coolidge. The State of the Union wasn’t broadcast live on TV until President Lyndon Johnson’s address 42 years later. The first online live stream came under President George W. Bush in 2002.
  • President George Washington’s annual message was less than 10 minutes long.
  • The tradition of inviting guests started in 1982 when President Ronald Reagan hosted Congressional Budget Office employee Lenny Skutnik, who helped rescue a passenger after a plane crash. “SOTU” guests are now called “Skutniks.”
  • The longest “SOTU” address was given by President Harry Truman in 1946. It was more than 25,000 words.
  • One person in the president’s cabinet does not attend the “SOTU” in case of a catastrophe that renders everyone gathered unable to work. This year Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx was the “Designated Survivor.”

(Sources –

One fact that I heard on the air this year was that the men and women of Congress show up hours prior to the start of the “SOTU” to get an aisle seat so they can shake the Presidents hand (called “Isle hogs”…not a name that I would want to have).

You know every year the “SOTU” brings about a lot of bantering back and forth between political pundits, radio and TV talk shows, not to mention the “water cooler” talk at the at the office, warehouse, school, or jobsite. People have their own thoughts about the President’s opinion on the State of the Union.

This year, like never before, I thought “What would the “SOTU” be if Jesus were standing behind that His lectern, speaking to the church––to the world?” Here are some thoughts that were in the running…

John 16:32-33, “32 But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when you will be scattered, each one going his own way, leaving me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. 33 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.

John 10:9 – 10, “9 Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. 10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.

John 15:12 – 13, “12 This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. 13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

The “SOTU” is always controversial, but know this, the words of Jesus are true and NEVER changing!