Reflections on Transferring Power

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Thoughts on our role as Christians as we enter a new season as a nation.

Today we end our prayers for President Trump as president and begin to pray for President Biden as president.

While praying for our leaders is an important practice for any Christian, this can often be interpreted through the lens of our cultural polarization. Often when prayers are offered for specific government leaders, a frequent response is anger and condescension from those who supported the other candidate. These responses generally insinuate that to pray for wisdom, compassion, and endurance for our public leaders is to endorse every element of their platform or to prefer them over the other candidate.

Within this environment, it can be treacherous for pastors and church leaders to simply model faithful prayer for our government. So as we take in the events of today and begin to pray for President Biden and Vice-President Harris, it’s helpful to understand the kinds of reaction within our congregation.

For many, today is disappointing. For Christians who supported Trump or are at least wary of Biden, losing an election is never easy. With the peaceful transfer of power complete, much of their disappointment rises out of concern for the future of religious liberty and abortion in this administration.

For many, today is exciting. There are a significant portion of Christians who supported Biden and worked hard for his campaign. Motivated by their faith on issues of immigration, race, or criminal justice, these Christians are celebrating today in hopes that the next four years will mark significant political and social progress.

For many, today is cathartic. The past four years have been a marathon that appears to finally be over. Within a culture that was already polarized, the past four years have exacted a significant …

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