The topic on the forefront of so many of our minds is the events that happened recently in Washington DC. I was shocked, deeply saddened, and extremely concerned about the future of our country as I saw the images from our capital building. Many of you share those concerns with me. It didn’t seem like the country I know and love, and it made me sad that my children and yours would witness the violence in our center of government that our Founding Fathers built.
It’s times like this when we as Christians should be driven toward three things:
- Connecting with God to share our personal sorrows, concerns, hopes, and hurts, and listening to what He has to say about it through speaking to our hearts in prayer, and through His word.
- Praying for our country, our nation, and especially those we disagree with, are angry at, or are disappointed in. Jesus calls us to love our enemies, and pray for those who hurt us (Matthew 5:44). This is a command that we can only obey with His help.
- Uniting with those we care about in our families and our community as we are able to embody Christ’s calling to love one another in the midst of crisis. We can encourage, support, and listen to one another, even as we can have joy together in the midst of challenges, and despite (perhaps even because of) our many differences in opinion.
Our assistant principal, Matt Perkins, suggested to me that evening that our whole school would gather in prayer, and we met the next afternoon as a school and prayed for our country. We first read Psalm 72 and prayed it responsively together. We prayed for our country’s leadership (we don’t have a king like Israel did, but we do have an executive, legislative, and judicial leadership for our country) just like the Psalmist did, but we also remembered that the King of Kings, the only one who can ultimately fulfill our prayers for our country, is Jesus Christ. So many people feel unheard and alienated in our culture today, on both sides of the aisle. We haven’t done enough as a country to ensure life and wellness for those who cannot protect themselves, including those marginalized in our country historically, and the unborn. Yet we serve a God who cares about these things and is working in our land. We also have a shared heritage in this country that we will work together to get better, to grow, and to learn from our mistakes, preserve our Constitution, and create a better future for our children.
God is ultimately the one we look to for all of our hopes and dreams for our land. Let us be reminded by the Psalmist:
For he delivers the needy when he calls,
the poor and him who has no helper.
He has pity on the weak and the needy,
and saves the lives of the needy.
From oppression and violence he redeems their life,
and precious is their blood in his sight.
I teared up hearing our students read this Psalm about how God is our King who redeems us, and then as they prayed together, thanking God for our country, for our Constitution and laws, praying that the hearts of our nation would turn to Him, and asking for peace, for wisdom and guidance for our leaders, and that God would reign in our land. It reminded me that there is hope for the next generation, and that God is at work in our children.
We have families at Ambleside on the right and on the left of the political spectrum. We are a place where the unity of Christ can bind us all together, despite our political differences. Our students at Ambleside take an honest look at our history, our laws, and our leadership, and are learning to ask questions, consider deeply, and think critically, as any citizen of a democracy should. Yet they are also learning to value our shared heritage, to love our great country, and appreciate the founders of our nation, despite their flaws and imperfections (because we moderns, too, have flaws and imperfections).
Please join me today in praying for the leadership of our country, for God’s will to be done here, for all of our hearts to turn towards him, and that he would redeem, teach, and inspire the next generation: your children and mine.