Jeremiah 26:1–15; Romans 5:1–10 (read online ⧉)
The news is filled with doom. Doom, doom, doom. Many of our movies and entertainment are filled with doom. In the middle of doom, hope is a breath of fresh air.
On the other hand, some times a message of doom in a time of despair isn’t doom upon doom, but a message of God. Granted, the message of God may not seem all that positive. If one is set in their ways, even a message of hope can seem like a message of doom.
That’s exactly what happens, too. The priests, the (false) prophets, and the people heard the words of Jeremiah. They were very unhappy. “We’re fine.” “The [false] prophets say we’re good.” “The [false] prophets say that God will only bless us.” “God wouldn’t really do that to us. We’re the People of God.”
Who knows what else they said? We might have a pretty good idea if we were to examine ourselves and the wider Christian community, however. This isn’t about LGBT+. This isn’t about politics. This isn’t even about racial issues. Yes, each of these is a part. None are the whole.
Perhaps God is allowing COVID-19 to show what is truly important…a deep and meaningful relationship with God. That same relationship in turn would create deep and meaningful relationships with others.
Yet, there are those who still call this God’s curse as a result of sinful behaviors, though as this is global, it is unlikely (based on Biblical examples). Others look at this as a huge cultural shift that will transform human behaviors and relations for some time to come. They are probably correct. Others are looking at this as a troubling time, but insist on trying to return to pre-COVID-19 ways either too early, or without weighing all the consequences.
COVID-19 does show a very human tendency. “Hurry up!” God’s timing is not our timing. Yet, in the COVID-19 season, humanity cannot stop being short-sighted. This echoes the people of Israel spoken to by Jeremiah.
On the other side of COVID-19 (if there is an “other” side), we might look at Paul’s words to the Romans and give God the glory that God has given us afflictions. Then we might see that we can, did, and will endure to the future. Producing [Godly] character in this time might be the biggest gift we receive (though there is misery in the training) at this time.
All of this should be producing an outpouring of hope, according to Paul. Christians are called to be the voice of hope in all things, though especially in hard and uncertain times.
Hope giving God, fill us with hope. With this hope, may we fill the world in turn with the hope it so desperately needs. May we set aside our desires and wants to be the hope. Amen.
1) How’s your hope? Is your hope (or lack thereof) contagious?
2) What is the primary tone of the conversation that you are seeing in your social media (e.g., Facebook)? What are you doing to bring hope into that?
3) What place does hope hold in your life? What purpose does hope hold in your life?