Dear Trinity Saints,
I’ve been enjoying a vacation at home this week with my family, and it’s been particularly rewarding to get to witness the end of a very exciting World Series in baseball as well as to celebrate my 36th birthday. What a treat! Thanks to every one of you for your words of encouragement, prayers, and for all that you do to make Trinity Reformed Church such a vibrant place of God’s love.
I wanted to write you a brief note on the election coming up this next Tuesday. With all the media buzz and television ads and general noise, it’s pretty tempting to just plug your ears and become apathetic or else completely despair. And there really is so much that might tempt us to despair. We are a wicked nation and our leaders are wicked and foolish and full of greed and lies and bloodshed. The Bible clearly teaches that when this happens a nation is under judgment. America is under the judgment of God, and this is why it feels so confusing, so out of control. That’s because it is, and a central part of being under the judgment of God is being given over to the chaos and confusion that sin is. When people turn away from the living God and against His Christ, they are always turning toward chaos and confusion. And so here we are. It can certainly feel like we are a tiny candle standing on the coast of Florida with a hurricane coming up out of the Caribbean.
But there are at least two points of hope for us in this moment: First, in actual fact, we always stand on the brink at the mercy of God. Every moment of our lives, every single moment of human history is all upheld by the word of God’s power. Every heart beat, every breath is a gift from Him. It’s all held together by Jesus Christ. It’s at moments like these that God gives anyone with eyes to see a glimpse of that reality. Even when the sun is shining and everything seems right in the world, it’s Christ holding all of it together. We are always completely at His mercy. So while this historical moment is a gut-wrenching moment, Christ holds this moment in His sovereignty and not one hair, not one sparrow, not one vote is outside of His perfect loving care.
Second, the judgment of God is always an invitation to turn to Him. When Jonah announced the coming judgment on Nineveh, the entire city turned to God in repentance. God may spare our nation or He may not, but let this moment drive you to repentance. Confess your sins, forgive one another, harbor no bitterness, no secret sins, be right with God and everyone around you. The courage you need to walk through these times faithfully is only found in hiding yourself in Christ. And hiding yourself in Christ begins with clinging to His cross. If we want to be salt and light, we must lead the way by confessing our sins so that we can confess Christ. If we want our nation to repent, we need to show them how.
And lastly, I want to urge you to actually make a point to vote. I’m not saying that you must vote for the president. I leave that to your conscience before God. Seems to me that on that score you have the option of abstaining, voting for a third party, or humbly asking God for one of the judgments instead of the other (i.e. one of the leading candidates). As it stands, Trump will no doubt win the electoral votes from Idaho, so I would suggest that you consider one of the first two options as more strategic. But far more importantly, I want to urge you to do some research and make a point to vote for the state and local elections. One of the plays being run on Christians in this nation is getting us so wound up and distracted by national politics that we don’t give any thought or consideration to what is happening in our home state and county. But that is precisely where we can have a much greater voice and impact. And it’s where we can love our neighbors far more concretely. So get out and love your neighbors and vote for the local and state elections.
For those of you who are tempted to not vote because of the lines and general mayhem of next Tuesday, you can actually vote early today at the courthouse until 5pm.
And lastly, let me just urge you to be in prayer for our nation. I know we often say that we need to pray for our nation, but let’s make the next few days a moment where we really do ask God to have mercy on us, to forgive us, and give us true repentance.
Much Love and Blessings to you all,