Today the sun rose just like it did yesterday, and, God willing, will again tomorrow. Last night, I was extremely surprised to witness a Donald Trump victory. It was an election of change; one of fear, anger, and frustration. The results cannot be narrowed down to one cause, or one single issue. And, likewise, the solutions to the problems we face as a country are not simple, but complex and multi-faceted.
I did not vote for Trump, and I am not enthused about his victory. However, while I have my concerns about what a Trump presidency may bring, I refuse to give into the vitriol of some and the fear of others, for to do so would be to subvert the need we have to find ways to come together, and forget that this world belongs to God (not to democracy, not to the president, nor any other human institution).
Though this response may seem unsatisfactory to some, I stand firm in it. No matter what successes or failures, joys or sorrows, blessing or suffering may lie ahead, my confession and prayers for our president elect and government as a whole are as such:
I obey God first;
I respect the authorities that rule,
for they are established by God:
I pray for our rulers,
and I work to influence governments--
resisting them only when Christ and conscience demand.
I am thankful for the freedoms
enjoyed by citizens of many lands;
I grieve with those who live under oppression,
and I seek for them the liberty to live without fear.
I call on all governments to do public justice
and to protect the rights and freedoms
of individuals, groups, and institutions
so that each may do their tasks.
I urge our government and pledge myself
to safeguard children and the elderly
from abuse and exploitation,
to bring justice to the poor and oppressed,
and to promote the freedom
to speak, work, worship, and associate.
Followers of the Prince of Peace
are called to be peacemakers,
promoting harmony and order
and restoring what is broken.
I call on the government to work for peace
and to restore just relationships.
My hope for a new creation is not tied
to what humans can do,
for I believe that one day
every challenge to God's rule
will be crushed.
His kingdom will fully come,
and the Lord will rule.
Come, Lord Jesus, come.*
Thus, as a citizen and servant, this is what I will devote myself to seeking on the university campus. This is what I will seek to do in my community of Ames. This is what I pray the Church will seek to do as an agent of change across the country. And it is what I pray you will do as you consider what the future holds. Act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with the Lord God. Reflect His truth and justice, goodness and grace to a disbelieving, dismayed, and divided people.
Last night brought about tremendous, perhaps shocking, change. However, it need not, nor should not be the end of change. And it will not be the end of my hope.
*Adapted from the contemporary testimony of the Christian Reformed Church in North America, which can be found in its entirety, here.