Our recent presidential election has revealed how deeply divided we are as a nation. No matter what the results were, about half of our nation was going to be happy and elated and half of our nation was going to be angry and disappointed.
The voters have spoken, and businessman Donald Trump has been elected as the 45th President of the United States of America. As expected, about half of our nation is elated while half is deeply disappointed. After the divisiveness of an election, the first task of every new President is to seek to bring the nation together again.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus teaches us about our role in bringing about peace and reconciliation among people. He says:
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Matthew 5:9
“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you so you may be children of your father in heaven.” Matthew 5:44
“If you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go, first be reconciled to your brother or sister and then come and offer your gift.” Matthew 5:23
Jesus calls us to become peacemakers among people, to pray for those who are against us and to be reconciled with those from whom we have become estranged.
Now, more than ever, our nation needs the people of the Church to be faithful followers of the teachings of Jesus.
The Church of Jesus Christ is in the unique position of being one of the few places in our society where Republicans, Democrats and Independents come together on a regular basis. Therefore, the Church has a vital role to play in helping to heal the brokenness in our society.
I believe that people are reconciled, not just by looking at each other, but by looking together in the same direction. In worship, we all look in the same direction. We come to worship to praise God for creating us and giving us every blessing in our lives. We thank God for His unconditional love and forgiveness that comes to us in Jesus Christ. We pray, “Thy will (not my will) be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
For those who rejoice in the results of the presidential election, God calls us to humility and a commitment to make the world a better place for all people. For those who are disappointed in the results of the election, God calls us to accept the things we cannot change and to pray for our new President and all of our elected leaders.
I thank God for United Theological Seminary, which is highly effective in preparing faithful and fruitful pastors to lead the followers of Jesus to become peacemakers and reconcilers in a highly fractured world.
In his prayer for peace, St. Francis of Assisi included this phrase:
Make me an instrument of thy peace….where there is hatred, let me sow love…
My prayer is that followers of Jesus will rise to the occasion and become God’s peacemakers who lead people to pray for those whom they oppose and to become instruments of God’s peace in the world by sowing the seeds of love.
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Kent Millard, President
United Theological Seminary