I’ve been a bit confused by all of the Presidents’ Day ads because I hadn’t remembered Presidents’ Day being so close to Valentine’s Day. But I’ve finally caught up with where we are on the calendar! I was reading a devotional this morning that directed me to 1 Timothy 2:1-2, “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.”
Presidents’ Day, of course, is generally considered a day to celebrate Washington and Lincoln. It is also sometimes understood as a day to celebrate all of our presidents. And although remembering these two great men and their legacy to us as citizens of the United States is wise and profitable (no, I’m not referring to retail sales), I think it’s a great opportunity to remind us to pray for our current president.
I am struck by the consequences of praying for our president that are presented to us in 1 Timothy 2:2. It’s not all about the president (or kings and assorted leaders) and how he leads. It’s so “we may lead a peaceful and quiet life”. I think in the past I’ve translated that to be that we should pray that our president leads in a godly way so we get to have peace and assorted blessings. But note the entire promise: that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.
Our national debates over the last couple of decades have been cantankerous, to put it mildly. We’re all consumed about the behavior and policies of our politicians and how they sometimes differ from our personal views. Often, in our passion we are not at all peaceful or dignified. And I’m comfortable in saying we’re not too godly either.
I’ve been considering what “quiet life” means. Certainly that doesn’t mean passive. The Bible urges us to love justice and passivity won’t do the trick there. The quiet life doesn’t mean passionless either. One thing you can confidently say about Jesus is he lived a life of passion. Perhaps the quiet life isn’t only about the external. Perhaps the quiet life internally includes how we let our thoughts go when we think about our kings/leaders. Godly thoughts produce a quiet life motivated by love and concern versus hate and disdain.
I’m kind of tickled that Valentine’s Day and President’s Day are falling on the same weekend. Jesus keeps calling us back to love. He doesn’t call us to agree or to give up our God given rights, but he always calls us to love. Praying for our president and our leaders should be done in love. And then we get the reward of personally living a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.