November 9, 2016

Dear First Pres,

How late were you up last night? That's been the question around the church office today (we're all a bit groggy). I didn't turn the TV off until Donald Trump had given his acceptance speech to become our next President of the United States of America. Still, I was awake at dawn thinking about the implications this election might have on our country, our city, and even our church. 
 
The fact is that, today, some of us (that is FPC Fresno) are celebrating and some of us are grieving. Some of us are flummoxed and some of us are apathetic about the whole thing. Some of us are anxious and some of us are at peace. Some of us are angry and some of us are happy. Some of us want to lash out and some of us want to disengage. But all of us, Beloved, are called to live our lives in a manner worthy of the calling we've received in Christ Jesus. I encourage you to keep that in mind. With all of our differences of opinion politically (which is something I love about us), may we demonstrate the unity and love of Christ to our city and world. May we love each other well. May we encourage one another. May we spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
 
How can we do that when things seem so crazy? The Scripture that has been on my mind for the last 24 hours is from Daniel 4 where the same phrase appears 3 times (4:17, 25, 32). It says, "The Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes." Do you believe that? God was teaching Nebuchadnezzar a lesson. Neb (for short) had put his trust in his own power and his own ability and his own glory. God made it very clear to him that it was trust misplaced.  I pray today that we may also remember, no matter how we feel about this election, that we can trust in the sovereignty of God. His thoughts are not our thoughts, and His ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8). He is good and His love endures forever (Psalm 136:1). We need to put our trust in Him.
 
For there is still a mission that we must tend to. There are still some 400,000 people in our community who aren't connected with a church family. There are still threads of injustice permeating our city. There are still children being ignored or mistreated because their parents have too many issues of their own. There are still women enslaved in prostitution walking our streets. There are still neighbors restrained by the chains of poverty. There are still massive relational barriers between our neighborhoods. Surely, there is still a mission, Christ's mission, that we must tend to.
 
Church, let's live on mission with Jesus today. Let's use the unrest in our community to point to the gospel of Grace. Let's make manifest together the shalom (wholeness and peace) of God. All so that His glory might saturate our lives and our city.

Blessings,