Northwestern Ohio District
Church of the Nazarene

My Dear NWO Sisters and Brothers … Our nation and world is in the throes of that which none of us has ever experienced. It came upon us unexpectedly. With its good and bad, the world was still in many respects predictable.  The stock market was at all-time highs. Unemployment in the U.S. was at near all-time lows. Partisan politics was center stage as the field of presidential candidates narrowed.

Now, only a few weeks later, we seldom venture out. Schools were closed mid-semester. There has been an all-out effort to save the economy from ruin. Long lines of cars snake through parking lots with people waiting for a bag of groceries. Tens of thousands have died … alone.

A question for us is what, as Christ’s people (those who believe in Him and say we follow Him), what are we to do in this hour? Who are we to be? I think three things:

* We are people of prayer. Indeed in this hour we feel like Paul when he acknowledged, “We do not know how to pray.” (Romans 8). However, we kneel and we bear the world’s pain and need believing that the Spirit interprets our “our groans” all while acknowledging that Christ Himself intercedes for us.

* We are people of love, and in the words of a still-familiar song, “What the world needs now is love, sweet love.” The grieving need love, the exhausted frontline workers need love, the lonely need love, the worried need love. As Christ’s people, through the Holy Spirit, we are privileged to love others, to serve others, to genuinely care about others. We do this not of our own making, but it is the expression of Christ within us, always yes, but especially visible in times like these.

* We are people of hope. Over the last year I have been surprised to see just how many times the Bible speaks of hope. The good news is our hope has substance. In the words of the Psalm we say, “Hope, thou, in God.” He is with us. He is for us. Our hope has a name … Jesus. He lives! Thus, we have hope now and hope forever. Because of Christ, and His gifts to us of salvation and eternal life, we can live hopeful resultant in a life manifested by peace.

So, we do not know where this road may go. The fact is we never do. However,  we do “know the One in whom we have believed …” So we pray, we love, we hope … all because of Jesus.

Geoff Kunselman