One week from today, Donald J. Trump will be sworn into office as the 45th President of the United States. For the next four years (and up to eight), our nation will be under his leadership.
The road getting to this point has been filled with mudslinging, hate, and anger. The division in our country is just as palpable today as it was on election night. Mr. Trump will be entering the Oval Office with a torn nation on his hands.
In the Moody Church Media blog The Role of the Church in a Trump Administration, Pastor Emeritus of the Church Moody Church, Dr. Erwin W. Lutzer, asks this necessary question:
How should the church respond in this time of division?
Lutzer says that the church will be needed more than ever after Trump becomes president. The role of the church is to be a place of reconciliation. We can pursue that reconciliation by doing three things:
1. Listen without Judging
Lutzer suggests talking to someone who voted differently than you. Seek to understand their position without shaming them.
Remember that many citizens felt obligated to “vote for the lesser evil.” Others couldn’t vote for Trump or Clinton in good conscience and selected a third party candidate. Right and wrong were not black and white in this election. Both candidates were flawed.
Lutzer writes, “Don’t tell people that they are upset about the wrong issues; after all, they may think the same about you. Let people own their disappointment and anger. Seek to understand them, not to correct them.”
2. Find Common Ground
Look for the things you can agree on, despite party lines. Whether or not you voted for our president-elect, the good of the country is what we should focus on now.
“Surely we can agree on matters that relate to human rights, freedom of religion, racial equality, and helping the poor. Let the two political streams that developed during the campaign push us toward a more unified and Christ-honoring center,” Lutzer says.
3. Pursue Unity
Be the church by actively seeking reconciliation through unity. We are not just the United States, but we are united in Christ.
Lutzer writes, “Let our unity in Christ overshadow divisions about race, gender, economic status, or strident political positions. Let those who name the name of Christ be welcome in our churches regardless of who they voted for, and may that welcome not merely be shown with words, but with deeds and attitudes.”
We must pray for our new leader and our country as a whole. Crosswalk.com contributing writer Debbie McDaniel wroter this beautiful and powerful prayer for Inauguration Day. May you ponder these words in your heart as you pray for renewed hope in our country:
Dear God, we’re aware, more than ever, that our times are in your hands. We need your Presence and your power to be displayed in our nation. We need your unity and your love to stir our hearts and give direction to our days. We need your wisdom to guide us, we need your Spirit to lead us, to live out godly lives that would bring honor first to you.
We pray for all those in authority, for every leader of our nation, that you would give them your wisdom and discernment as they lead. We pray that their hearts would be directed first to you, that they would recognize where their true help and strength come from. We ask that you would guard their coming and going, that you would be their refuge and their peace. We pray that you would surround every leader with wise counsel, that they would be humble and kind, patient and loving through their actions and words. We pray that their faith in you would be unwavering, strong, resolute, and firm.
We pray for your protection as one nation under God. We ask that you would surround this country and cover us with your Mighty hand. We pray for unity in our land, that in spite of our differences, we would be willing to stand strong together and live out our days with compassion and grace. We ask that no weapon formed against us will prosper, and that you would thwart the attacks of the enemy hurled our way.
We pray for your great healing on our land. Shine your face on us dear Lord. Give us courage to go into all the world and take the message of the Gospel of peace. We need you now, more than ever before. Our times are in your hands.
Wake us up Lord! Remind us to live aware, to redeem the time, listen to your words, and be willing to make a difference in this land. Give us courage to speak out. Help us not to stay silent but to do all things through your wisdom and love. In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen.
Carrie Dedrick is an editor of Crosswalk.com. When she is not writing or editing, she can usually be found teaching dance classes, running marathons, or reading with at least one adopted dog on her lap.
Photo courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com
Publication date: January 13, 2017