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BY REV. SHELLEY DONALDSON

March 16, 2020


Has this devotional grounded your resistance to Trump in Scripture and empowered you to act for the common good? If the answer is "yes," then please help us reach more progressive Christians. Become a Patron today.
Volunteers in New Rochelle, NY, helping to hand out free meals to students. - via The New York Times
As the country attempts to halt the spread of the coronavirus, Trump and his administration aren’t doing much to help the cause except to spread more false information. – via The New York Times
"We were saved in hope. If we see what we hope for, that isn’t hope. Who hopes for what they already see? But if we hope for what we don’t see, we wait for it with patience." - Romans 8:24-25
Given that so much of our world has been sequestered and so many things put on hold, there are still an overwhelming number of things happening around our globe and in our own country. From the DOW and US stocks continuing to fall, presidential democratic debates taking place, and now restaurants and public places of businesses being shut down in order to curb the spread of the outbreak of the coronavirus, it’s easy to feel helpless and a bit hopeless right now. 

In the Christian season of Lent, we are called to take stock and quiet ourselves in a busy world so we might experience God a little deeper and louder in our lives. But right now, for so many with so much going on around us, it can feel hopeless (especially for those who are the most vulnerable when it comes to this virus) not being able to go outside of our own homes. Many of our houses of worship have temporarily closed their doors to minimize passing the germs along, which for some can cause even more feelings of hopelessness, almost as though God has closed the doors on humanity. But the writer of Romans reminds us that hope is exactly what sets us apart as people of faith because we have hope when there seems to be no hope. We know that God has created us in hope, loves us in hope, and lives on in each of in hope. And as people of faith, we are also people of hope even in the worst of times.

While the Trump administration seems to be doing little but gaslighting and whitewashing the spread of the virus, there are reasons to hope because even though we are separated, we can still be there for each other. We can still bring hope in a time of uncertainty when our administration is failing to do so. And by doing so, we can allow God to speak louder in and through each of us regardless of however many houses of worship are closed right now. We can find ways to grow hope by staying educated on what’s happening, by working to keep ourselves and our neighbors healthy, and by finding ways to reach out to one another in this time of quarantine. 
With so much going on and an inability to do much other than quarantine ourselves right now, here are some things you can do to live into hope:
  • Check out this article from Vice, “How to Be a Good Neighbor Right Now
  • Find your local food bank from Feeding America and make sure that the least of these are getting nutritious meals to help keep themselves healthy
  • Keep track of what’s going on with the spread of the coronavirus outbreak, check out this regularly updated, live site from the New York Times
  • Check out this article from Town and Country Magazine on helping others during the coronavirus outbreak
And remember, be kind to those you do come into contact with, you never know what others might be going through and causing them even more stress right now.
God of hope in strange and unknown times, 
give us light hearts,
give us courage,
give us wisdom,
give us clear thinking, 
give us patience,
give us energy, 
give us understanding,
and give us hope,
as we navigate a confusing world.
Amen.
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