On Christmas Day our congregation worshiped by praying the Christmas liturgy followed by a service of Lessons and Carols adapted from the historic Service of Nine Lessons and Carols presented each Christmas Eve by the choir of Kings College, Cambridge, England. In our slightly shortened version, seven scripture lessons tell of the Incarnation in the birth of Jesus. A familiar Advent or Christmas carol is sung in response to each lesson. The entire service is a moving declaration of the foundation of the Christian faith – Jesus, the Christ, was born among us and recognized by those who heard the good news as Immanuel, God with us.
A few days after Christmas I saw a post on Facebook quoting the Rev. Franklin Graham as saying that Donald Trump’s win was the answer to the prayers of many: “Trump won because ‘God showed up.’” I found this troubling because what I have learned of Trump’s words and actions so far seems to be at odds with the God who is described in the liturgy and scripture lessons we had read in church just two days before. Thus I undertook a comparison.