I believe, in general, the concept of change stirs emotions in every person. Some of those emotions lead to good things, while some can lead to not-so-good things, and even destructive behavior.
Judging from a glance at social media and the news, the announcement that we are soon to have a new President, and the changes that such a transition can and will make, has instigated some strong emotions from many people.
I pastor a church of a few hundred. Many voted for Mr. Trump. Some voted for Mr. Biden. I’ve had conversations with people from the same congregation who had great comfort about the thought of each man being President, and those who had great stress at the thought of each man being President.
I don’t often mention politics from the pulpit, much to the chagrin of some. My reasoning really is simple: I have a conviction from the Holy Spirit that the 30ish minutes I stand behind the pulpit should be saturated with the gospel. Should the Spirit nudge me in a different direction, I plan to follow. I’ve discovered that he’s the best voice to listen to when making decisions about what to speak to the assembly of God’s people.
It should be noted, however, that my lack of preaching a sermon on politics doesn’t mean I’m not concerned about the subject or ignorant of it. I realize that, in this moment, the political context in our nation is absolutely bonkers.
We’ve been in a holding pattern for a few days. Stress levels are high. Higher than normal. In 2020. (And that’s saying something.) For various reasons, the news today that we’ll have a new President has brought about numerous emotions. For some, those emotions include hope, excitement, or relief. For others, the emotions are more along the lines of worry, discouragement, and fear.
Over the past four years, my hope has not been anchored to The White House. For the next four years, my hope will not be anchored to The White House. In fact, I don’t intend to anchor my hope to The White House over the next 40 years.
That doesn’t mean I don’t care about what happens in The White House. Nor does it mean that I don’t have some reservations about what a Biden Presidency might look like. However, I believe that the same God who was ruling from the throne of heaven a week ago, a month ago, a year ago, 100 years ago, and 1,000 years ago is the same God who is ruling from that throne today. And I believe he uses the rulers and leaders of governments to accomplish his purposes, even if those rulers and leaders don’t realize it.
More than anything, I want you to take heart, regardless of how this week has made you feel up to this point. God has had this whole world in his hands since he created it, and nothing, absolutely nothing, will change that.
As the people of God, we have the opportunity to show a watching world what it means to live in this world while anchoring our hope in the world to come. This is an opportunity to continue to be salt and light. This is an opportunity to show others that we trust God in every aspect of our lives, including our government.
Things might be very, very different in our culture four years from now, when we head to the polls again to elect or reelect a President. But God will be the same, and his mission for our lives will be the same.
Between now and then, I’m going to pray for President Trump as he leads us over the coming couple of months, and I’m going to pray for President-Elect Biden, as he prepares to lead us. This nation is sorely divided. I’m going to pray for myself, that I’ll be follow Jesus’ example by living with grace and truth and seek unity among the body of Christ, as Jesus prayed for us in John 17. I’m going to pray for my church, that we’ll not lose sight of our mission, and that we’ll continue to declare the gospel.
I hope you’ll join me.