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We have a signboard facing the street on which the message changes each month

Current Sign

The headline didn’t shout. It didn’t need to. This wasn’t a slow news day. It read, ‘In one week 10 percent of Australia’s workforce have lost their jobs’. In India, a nation of 1.3 billion people were given four hours notice to lock down inside their homes for 21 days. People found outside afterwards were subsequently beaten.

Always, in the world somewhere, there’s an extreme situation – a flood, a famine, a war. Less frequent, though, are situations involving the whole world. The COVID-19 pandemic is such a time.

Perhaps, for Australians, the shock has been greater than for those who live with poverty and uncertainty each day. Now, we share that experience… anxious about what happens if we catch the virus or whether we’ll have a job or even if society will hold together. So far, our government has met these fears with hope – with a program of social isolation and the ‘JobKeeper’ and ‘JobSeeker’ packages.

But it would be a mistake to put all our ‘hope eggs’ in the government basket. Australians, indeed all people, need a hope that transcends the weakness of governments. We need a hope that lasts beyond death. And the only hope worth having is in Jesus.

In his famous, ‘Sermon On The Mount’, Jesus said,

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?

In the West, death is something that happens mostly in nursing homes to people we don’t spend much time with. But COVID-19 confronts us with our mortality… reminding us that all must face God eventually.

While the pandemic is at distance, we should take the time to get our hopes into proper shape. The promises of government and medical technology can only ever be temporary. But the Bible speaks of ‘new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead’. That’s an ongoing and exciting hope where death is not the last word but a portal into a close and complete existence with our heavenly Father.

So, “set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed”.

Prayer: Dear God please help me to put my hope fully in Jesus.

Bible: “… set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed”. – 1 Peter 1:13