January 21, 2017
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 15:5-6
The inaugural address of the 45th President of the United States was unlike any other that I can remember. With three former presidents sitting behind him, Donald J. Trump laid down the gauntlet. Actually, he flung it down like a warning shot across the bow. The old way of doing things has ended. A new era has begun. While we may disagree with what he said, we have to agree that it took enormous courage to say it in that setting and on that occasion.
While President Trump made a clear statement to the political world, I would like to make a clear statement to the religious world. I have just watched the Inaugural Prayer Service in the National Cathedral. President and Mrs. Trump, Vice President and Mrs. Pence, and their families were in attendance along with many other dignitaries. Two of my family members and many of my friends participated. But the program also included Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, and representatives of other religions. While I appreciated the effort to unify people as we seek God, I’ve asked myself: How can light unify with darkness? How can truth unify with the false? Because the living God who is the Creator of the heavens and the earth, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, was included in the program of the Prayer Service in America’s National Cathedral as though He is just one of many gods.
Let me be clear. When we pray, with one mind and one voice we are to glorify – not just any god—not just the god of our choosing or one we are comfortable with or the one who is revered by a religion or tradition. We are to glorify the one true living God who is the Creator—the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—the One who came down in human form so that we could see Him and hear Him and know Him; the One who died on the Cross to be our Savior in order to offer us forgiveness of sin and reconciliation with Himself; the One who rose from the dead as Lord of lords to offer us eternal life; and the One who is coming soon as King of kings to rule the world in righteousness, justice and peace.
Please, America! Don’t turn to just any god. Turn to the one, true, living God who loves us, who will hear us, who will forgive us, and the only One who can bring healing to our nation.
That’s His promise…if we turn to Him. ¹
¹ 2 Chronicles 7:14