First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity. This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. —1 Timothy 2:1-4
This is a scripture passage that’s been on my heart quite a bit this summer, really since Donald Trump took office in January 2017. On the surface, it seems challenging to reconcile this instruction to offer thanksgiving to God for Trump, whose tenure in the highest elected position in the United States (and perhaps the world) has been filled with so much amorality and cruelty to so many groups of vulnerable people that, in Matthew 25, Jesus calls us to protect.