I still can’t get the images out of my head. I’m writing this the day after the chaotic events at the U.S. Capitol. People brandishing weapons, forcing their way into House and Senate chambers, and more. It looked like a frontal assault on one of the citadels of our American democracy – something you might see in other countries, but not the United States. Those pictures are going to stick in my head, and we’ll be wrestling with the aftermath of what happened for quite a while.
I’ve been thinking about those shocking events in the context of our theme for this school year “No Fear” based on Isaiah 12:2: “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.” What I kept wondering about is, what motivates someone to take such drastic action? I’m sure if you asked some of them, we might hear a whole variety of answers referencing their views about the current and future Presidents, the political parties, and our Constitution. But I think the real driver was fear – fear about who holds political power, where our country is headed, and the implications of that for our daily lives. While I’ve strived to understand that fear, I’m not sure I can. As a Christian, I just don’t relate to fear like that. I know that no matter who is in charge of our country, God is ultimately in control. He protects, provides, and has divinely appointed whomever holds a position of authority in our country – regardless of what I think of them. I put my faith not in a gun or a flag or an earthly manifesto – but in Jesus Christ the Lord of heaven and earth. I think Psalm 46:1-3 says it best: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.” I will continue to pray for our country and all its leaders, and beseech those who act out of fear to instead place their trust in our all powerful and eternally loving God.