How long?

How long will Americans, and millions around the world, be required to endure the presidency of Donald Trump? My dear bride Betsy frequently says, “It’s going to be a long four years,” to which I reply, “It’s not going to last four years.” Or eight.

Will it? Perhaps not. He’s sat on the presidential throne now for more than 600 days, but daily we learn of developments that increasingly threaten the longevity of his reign.

Still we ask ourselves, how long?

North Carolinian Pepper Choplin, considered one of the more creative composers of church music today, serves as music minister at Greystone Baptist Church in Raleigh, North Carolina. He’s written more than 300 anthems for church and school choirs. In 2011 he produced a piece that points this burning question at several issues of our time and encourages us to press on toward peaceful resolutions. The Chamber Singers, an a cappella ensemble at my church, is rehearsing it now, preparing to sing it in worship in a few weeks.

How long, Choplin’s text asks, until our world is free from suffering? How long until the power of love comes? How long until every gun is silenced? How long until the thunder of battle will fade to peace? He goes on to urge us to press on toward the day when we all will live in peace, and adds this challenge: “Send me, send me to go and live for peace.” It’s up to us.

Choplin’s anthem doesn’t mention Donald Trump’s presidency directly, of course, but as I sing its words, I can’t resist thinking of this period of turmoil wrought by this president and praying for its end before long.

How long?


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