09 November 2016

Reflections on the Dawn of a New Presidency

The people have elected Donald J. Trump as the 45th president of the United States of America. For over 200 years, our constitutional republic has persisted and we have made it through yet another election.

I want to offer a few reflections on the dawn of the 2016 election to my Christian brothers and sisters. Perhaps your candidate won. Perhaps your candidate lost. Perhaps you didn't even cast a vote. Regardless, how now shall we live?

First, 1 Peter 2:16-17 reminds us, "Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor." Friends, our freedom lies not in our worldly citizenship, but flows from Christ's finished work. Live as people who are free. Yet in that, serve others and, as Peter reminds us, 'honor the emperor." Treat elected officials with honor, even if you did not vote for them.

Second, our sovereign is already on the throne. God was, is, and always will be head over all. God is not surprised by these election results. Nothing falls outside of His plan. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, "Besides Jesus, nothing has any significance. He alone matters."

Third, pray for the government. Not just today, but as often as you think about it. "First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way." -1 Timothy 2:1-2

Fourth, you will meet people who are scared about the election results. There are those who believe that this election signals doomsday, the apocalypse, or the coming of anti-Christ. In light of that, they are frightened. Love them well. As the verse from 1 Peter says above, "live as servants of God." One of the best ways to do that is to love the people around you--friends, neighbors, coworkers.

Fifth, Christians, we remain salt and light. Matthew 5:13-14 reads, "You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet. You're the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." We need to continue to boldly proclaim the truth of the Kingdom of God. When those truths are hard, we cannot be unafraid to say them. We need to be those who live with joy and beauty as citizens of God's kingdom. We are ambassadors for Christ. When people look upon us they see what Jesus is supposed to be.

Sixth, be more concerned about God's reputation than your own. Too often, as Christians, we conform ourselves to the surrounding culture or are afraid to speak truth when truth is necessary. In 1 Corinthians 4 Paul basically said, "I don't give a whit what other people think of me. I don't even care what I think of me. What matters is what God says." Don't worry so much about how the world views you; give more attention to how God views you.

Seventh, Micah 6:8 tells us to "do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God." There is still work to be done. Become advocates for the unborn, the downtrodden, and the marginalized in society. Love your neighbor.

Finally, "whether you eat, or whether you drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."-1 Corinthians 10:31

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