What are citizens to do?

God is in charge of history. He asks us to work, to try, to pour ourselves out to make things better. But he is an actor in history also. He chastises and rescues, he intervenes in ways seen and unseen. Or chooses not to.

Twenty-sixteen looks to me like a chastisement. He’s trying to get our attention. We have candidates we can’t be proud of. We must choose among the embarrassments. What might we be doing as a nation and a people that would have earned this moment?

That’s how Peggy Noonan concludes her November 3 column in The Wall Street Journal. How we respond to her piece depends on many things — belief in God, assessment of the candidates, standards of civility, and so on.

For those of us who agree with her view of God’s role in history, today’s election gives pause regardless of its outcome. And yet, it also doesn’t. There are many honorable responses, including the following:

  1. Pray for those in authority. Their hearts are in God’s hands.
  2. Do justice and love mercy. We’re accountable to one another as citizens.
  3. Seek the good of the land. This finds a parallel between ancient Israel’s exile in Babylon and the “dual citizenship” of those who also live as citizens of Christ’s kingdom.

Life is an act of service — to God and others. That’s a great reason to get up in the morning. Especially on November 9.