Dear friends in Christ,
It’s been a difficult few weeks for the world and for the United States. We’ve seen earthquakes, gun violence, political upheaval, wars, and the ongoing global pandemic. It wouldn’t be difficult to lose hope at a time like this.
How can we stay hopeful? What are we to do?
I find the Gospels helpful in difficult times. There I am reminded that even Christ’s disciples—people who knew Jesus and saw his works—didn’t have the answers and sometimes lost their way. Jesus again and again had to redirect his followers. Sometimes he cajoled them. Sometimes he taught them. Sometimes he showed them signs and wonders. Always, he loved them.
If we lose our way, we are never alone. The Spirit abides with us. But what about all those times we can’t even see the Spirit at work in the world and in our own hearts?
Thanks be to God we have the church. Christ’s body, the church, is our haven and our sustenance. We can be nourished as we hear God’s word spoken to us. We can be sustained as we receive the sacraments. We can inspired as we listen to others bear witness to the grace and mercy of God at work in their lives.
I am not suggesting that we should flee the world and hide out inside our stained glass windows. I am not suggesting that the Gospel magically remedies the injustice and violence of the world. But the fact is that we who follow Jesus need to be reminded that he is the way, the truth, and the life. We need to remember that we are beloved of God, and that we are called to love others as he first loved us.
You and I don’t have to save the world. Jesus has done that. Our task is to give thanks for God’s love for us and to manifest that love in word and deed. I can’t say that we will make everything right in this world, but I can say with every fiber of my being that, in the end, love wins. Easter shows us that.
So what shall we do now?
We can offer compassion. Console those who suffer. Speak up for the voiceless. Give of our substance to those who have less. Name evil when we see it. Love our enemies. Pray for the needs of the world. And above all bear witness to God’s grace and mercy.
I might also add that righteous anger is holy, as the scriptures remind us. Righteous anger is not anger at our own suffering, but rather rage on behalf of the poor, the vulnerable, the widow, the orphan, and all those in great need. God sides with the meek not the mighty, and it’s just fine for God’s people to remind everyone of that.
In these times, I beseech you to spend time with other Christians. Worship on the Lord’s Day. Go to a Bible study. Pray with a friend. That’s how we keep our compass when the world seems to spin out of control.
We can’t make peace, but we can find Christ’s peace even in the midst of the storm.
The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, be amongst you, and remain with you always. Amen.
More from our ministry:
New course from ChurchNext: Organizing for Justice
From Grow Christians: Preparing and Trusting with John the Baptist
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