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  • Writer's pictureBen Gatton

3 Questions to Consider Today

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

Romans 12:12-13 NIV

One of the things I have always loved about the Bible are the ways words that were written in ancient times can be alive and breathing with fresh and inspired life for us in the present moments that we find ourselves in. I have read Romans 12 many times in my life, but I have been reading it in a new way since this coronavirus crisis has hit. I have started to notice that every phrase invites us to consider a very relevant question for these strange times we find ourselves in.

First, this passage reminds me to be on the lookout for hope. There is a hope that fuels our joy in Christ and that exists beyond the ups and downs of the circumstances we find ourselves in. I find joyful hope in many things around me if I choose to focus on them. The flowers that are blooming in our dining room, being a part of my kids home-bound education, and the way our community is coming together to support one another- even if it is from a little bit of a distance. Where are you finding hope in your life today?

To me the practice of patience and prayer go hand in hand. Even though there is joy in the extra time with kids, it is definitely exposing my need for more patience in my life as we live all crammed together for days on end! So I find myself praying for patience often, faithfully even. To our earlier point looking for hope, I have found more time for prayer these last few days. A hopeful thing indeed because I have to think that there are many things God is speaking to us in this extraordinary time. Life has slowed down, use this opportunity to focus your attention on what God is speaking to you in this moment. Turn off the politics, the cancelation reports, the conspiracy theories, and all of that other noise and listen to the still small voice of God’s Spirit. Prayerfully explore this question: “What is the Spirit of God saying to me today?”

The last sentence of this passage still makes me chuckle. What in the world does hospitality look like in season of social distancing? How do we share with those in need if we can’t be in the same place as them? Well, I’ve found its not as hard as I originally might have thought. This is a real opportunity to engage in co-creation with God as we use the imaginations and creativity God gave us to find new ways to build community and share God’s love with everyone. I’ve seen people hand out bagged meals at the church, I’ve heard of folks dropping off meals on people’s front doors, people are connecting through the internet and the mail system, principals and teachers are reading stories on line, the list could go on and on. These types of creative endeavors are amazing and we must not give up on them. We are all still on this journey together. How is God leading you to practice sharing and hospitality today?

Stay well everyone, continue to love God with all your being and find creative ways to love your neighbor as yourself!

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