Dear President Trump:
Today’s Daily Lectionary readings describe a future that is very different from the present.
In the Old Testament reading, God says that, after a time of exile, “The days are surely coming (when) I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” God will watch over the people “to build and to plant (them);” will “make a new covenant with (them);” and will “forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.” (Jeremiah 31:27-34)
In the Gospel reading, Lazarus, brother of Mary and Martha, gets sick. The sisters send word to Jesus to come and heal Lazarus. But Jesus delays. And Lazarus dies. When Jesus finally arrives, Mary and Martha are understandably upset that Jesus didn’t come earlier. All seems hopeless. Jesus weeps with the grieving sisters. But he does more. He goes to Lazarus’ tomb and shouts in a loud voice: “Lazarus, come out!” And Lazarus rises from the dead. (John 11:28-44) It is a new day for Lazarus, for Mary and Martha, and all who watched the miracle.
Mr. President, a new day is coming. Can you feel it?
A new day is coming for politics in this land. Americans are fed up with partisan bickering. The late American poet, Maya Angelou, astutely challenged: “Politicians must set their aims for the high ground and according to our various leanings, Democratic, Republican, Independent, we will follow. Politicians must be told if they continue to sink into the mud of obscenity, they will proceed alone.”
A new day is coming for international affairs. The biblical prophet speaks of the day when “nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore; but they shall all sit under their own vines and under their own fig trees, and no one shall make them afraid.” (Micah 4:3-4)
A new day is coming for the economic order. Jesus spoke frequently of the day when “the last will be first, and the first will be last.” (Matthew 20:16)
A new day is coming for creation care. According to a First Nations Cree prophecy:
When the earth is sick and dying,
There will come a tribe of people
From all races…
Who will put their faith in deeds,
Not words, and make the planet
Mr. President, a new day is coming. We cannot stop it. The only question for world leaders, the only question for each one of us, is whether we will embrace this new day or resist it.
J. Daryl Byler