Today is Inauguration Day in America and a new president will be sworn in as our nation’s chief executive and commander in chief. I’d like to say a few things.
Thank you President Barack Obama. You served our country these last eight years to the best of your ability and you did it with dignity. I’m grateful that there were no scandals surrounding your personal and family life to plague the nation and distract from your presidency. I appreciated your sense of humor and your sincere belief in the ideals that directed you. Despite your disappointment in the outcome of this election, you are transferring power with the same professionalism that President Bush afforded you when you took office eight years ago.
I am praying for you President Donald Trump. Your task is not easy. You are coming to power in a nation more divided than anytime in history since the Civil War. You have made bold promises and will face many obstacles to fulfill them. You have as many people opposing you as you have supporting you, and some of that opposition is vitriolic. I pray for God’s blessing on you, your family, and your presidency. I pray that he reveals himself to you in the days ahead, and that your spirit will be sensitive to his direction. I pray that your words and actions will produce healing in our country. We desperately need it.
To all Christians, I ask you to be the peacemakers that we are called to be. Jesus reminded us that his kingdom is not of this world. We belong to a greater kingdom and our mission is to attract and invite those of this world’s kingdoms into the one that matters. It is imperitive that they see the difference, and that they see our hope is not in human leaders or governments, but that our citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20). These words of the Apostle Paul are significant:
“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. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:1-4).
Paul wrote this in a time when corruption and evil reigned supreme in ways that would boggle our mind. Nero was the emperor of Rome, and Paul never spoke a word against him, but he urged followers of Jesus to pray for him.
There were many causes that Paul could have rallied Jesus-followers to herald. But there was only one that he promoted, and that was the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Because ultimately, eternity is all that really matters, and our witness in times of national upheaval, as at all times, has that at stake.
In the annals of history from God’s perspective, this is just another day. God is not transferring his power to anyone. He has never been out of control, and he is not worried about the days ahead. What matters most to us is what is being tested. That, and the reality of our faith and what it is resting in.
I hope and pray for you that it is in the God who wrote the Bible that President Trump’s hand will be resting on.