If you’re like me, you spent the better half of the last 18 months in a rather somber state of mind, thanks to the confusion and hopelessness that stemmed from the 2016 presidential campaigns and election. If you’re like me, you prayed earnestly and constantly for national rejuvenation, before and after November 8th. If you’re like me, you’re more than relieved that we’re putting this nightmare of an election season to bed.
It’s been over three weeks now since the election, and on January 20th, 2017, America will inaugurate Donald J. Trump as our 45th President.
It’s obvious that this election season was unlike any other in American history. Not only did it present us with two unorthodox, if not entirely inconceivable, candidates, but it pitted Americans against one another in an almost heartbreaking way. This election scarred us. We’ve been wounded at the hands of democracy, and it hurts. Badly.
Yet so many questions linger. What does this new era in America mean? How will we heal this profound political and ideological divide among Americans? How do we nurse these wounds?
The answer to these questions is not found in the violent riots that have ensued across the country, all the way from Portland, Oregon to New York City. The answer is not found in the mass media. The answer is not found in our Facebook laments and outcries. The answer is not even found in Trump himself. The answer, instead, is found in the very meaning of Christmas.
Consider the lyrics of the age-old hymn, Silent Night:
Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love’s pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace…
The birth of Jesus, much like this election, was (for a lack of a better word), a game-changer. Jesus’ birth both signaled the reconciliation of God and sinners, and it gave humanity a new hope; a hope that nobody expected to find in a baby boy. It might seem daunting to look for hope in what was truly a wayward and hostile election, but I tend to think of our country in a metaphorical sense. I think of our country as the Three Magi, who looked to the Star of David as the path to deliverance. The Magi followed the Star and encountered, low and behold, the newborn Jesus Christ. Could it be possible that this new dawning in America, will, too, deliver us from darkness?
Through the spirit of Christmas, we are indeed strengthened and renewed. By anticipating His birth, we anticipate a new beginning. America is on the cusp of an uncertain new beginning, and we’re naturally wary of uncertainty. Our fear of the unknown is affirmed as we look ahead to a new presidency, one that which the large majority of us (myself included, admittedly) did not foresee.
Allow yourself to be invigorated by the birth of our Lord. For it is that lowly manger in Bethlehem that our hope for redemption is found. Redemption for our sins, and redemption for our nation. Donald Trump is the president-elect, but Jesus Christ is the enthroned King, the Prince of Peace.
May the joy and promise of the newborn Savior reign in our hearts and homes this Christmas season, and may God continue to richly bless America.
Come, thou long expected Jesus, our hope and peace.
For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. – Isaiah 9:6
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