Franklin Graham posted on Facebook, “Did God show up? In watching the news after the election, the secular media keep asking “How did this happen?” “What went wrong?” “How did we miss this?” Some are in shock. Political pundits are stunned. Many thought the Trump/Pence ticket didn’t have a chance. None of them understand the God-factor.
Hundreds of thousands of Christians from across the United States have been praying. This year they came out to every state capitol to pray for this election and for the future of America. Prayer groups were started. Families prayed. Churches prayed. Then Christians went to the polls, and God showed up…I pray that President-elect Trump will surround himself with godly men and women to help advise and counsel him as he leads the nation.”
I want to respond as a Christian to this. My church was praying too but not for Trump to win. We were praying as Jesus taught us to pray “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Many of us are grieving the result of the election because of what it says about incivility, intolerance, disrespect, anger, and hate within the American population. We still believe that God will have God’s way of love, mercy, compassion, and justice. I reject the idea that Trump represents that. However, the majority of Americans voted for a diverse, hospitable, and tolerant nation. If Donald Trump’s election is a catalyst for us to all work harder to become more united, casting out fear with hope, hate with love then thanks be to God. But Trump is not the representative of Jesus. He is not a savior. Christians who prayed for Trump to be elected are expressing anger not mercy, hate not love, division not reconciliation, fear not hope. Franklin – Your Evangelical Christianity fails on so many levels to represent the love of God for all people expressed in Jesus life, death and resurrection. I reject the idea that this religious movement is Christian and reclaim the love and justice of God expressed in Christ’s life. We will continue to pray for you and Evangelical Christians everywhere who have mistaken political power for the redeeming love of God. Like Jesus, we will continue stand with the oppressed (Hispanics, Women, Blacks, LGBTQ, Muslims and anyone else left out). God was incarnate in Jesus to the broken, alienated, and afflicted. O God, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.”
Let Me Lament that compassion may rise out of my tears and hope be found in my destitution. I’m grieving this morning as many of you. Those who are angry with us, with them and everyone have had their way. We are left in darkness with no path out of incivility, violence, racism, and disrespect. The values of education, cooperation, and compassion have been defeated. But we are not the first to be in this place where hope has all but vanished. Let us join with our ancestors in lament that we may find hope beyond the hope we had hoped for…
1 My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? I have cried desperately for help, but still it does not come. 2 During the day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer; I call at night, but get no rest. 3 But you are enthroned as the Holy One, the one whom Israel praises. 4 Our ancestors put their trust in you; they trusted you, and you saved them. 5They called to you and escaped from danger; they trusted you and were not disappointed.6 But I am no longer a human being; I am a worm, despised and scorned by everyone! 7All who see me make fun of me; they stick out their tongues and shake their heads. 8″You relied on the Lord,” they say. “Why doesn’t he save you? If the Lord likes you, why doesn’t he help you?” 9 It was you who brought me safely through birth, and when I was a baby, you kept me safe. 10 I have relied on you since the day I was born, and you have always been my God. 11 Do not stay away from me! Trouble is near, and there is no one to help. 12 Many enemies surround me like bulls; they are all around me, like fierce bulls from the land of Bashan. 13 They open their mouths like lions, roaring and tearing at me.14 My strength is gone, gone like water spilled on the ground. All my bones are out of joint; my heart is like melted wax. 15 My throat is as dry as dust, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth. You have left me for dead in the dust. 16 An evil gang is around me; like a pack of dogs they close in on me; they tear at my hands and feet. 17 All my bones can be seen. My enemies look at me and stare. 18 They gamble for my clothes and divide them among themselves. 19 O Lord, don’t stay away from me! Come quickly to my rescue! 20 Save me from the sword; save my life from these dogs. 21 Rescue me from these lions; I am helpless before these wild bulls. 22 I will tell my people what you have done; I will praise you in their assembly: 23 “Praise him, you servants of the Lord! Honor him, you descendants of Jacob! Worship him, you people of Israel! 24 He does not neglect the poor or ignore their suffering; he does not turn away from them, but answers when they call for help.” 25 In the full assembly I will praise you for what you have done; in the presence of those who worship you I will offer the sacrifices I promised. 26 The poor will eat as much as they want; those who come to the Lord will praise him. May they prosper forever! 27 All nations will remember the Lord. From every part of the world they will turn to him; all races will worship him. 28 The Lord is king, and he rules the nations.29 All proud people will bow down to him; all mortals will bow down before him. 30Future generations will serve him; they will speak of the Lord to the coming generation.31 People not yet born will be told: “The Lord saved his people.”
The Lord lets us lament but calls us to encourage one another to remember who is in charge and where things are headed. We must walk through the valley of shadows to emerge into the kingdom of light.