Read 2 Corinthians 4:16-18.
“Do not lose heart.” That’s a tall order these days. The violence; the divisive rhetoric; the hatred against immigrants, LGBT+ persons, and other marginalized communities — it just seems like so much. One gets the sense that Paul is writing to a very fragile community, one that is being afflicted, perplexed, persecuted, and struck down. I can think of many people in these times that might find such conditions alarmingly familiar.
When I get overwhelmed by the brokenness of the world, I often turn to this piece of wisdom from our friends in the Jewish community:
“Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief.
Do justice, now.
Love kindness, now.
Walk humbly, now.
You are not obligated to complete the work,
but neither are you free to abandon it.” (The Talmud 303)
So take a moment this day and breathe. Find one way today to breathe in God’s mercies for yourself and then breathe out God’s mercies to another person. Such a small act can have reverberations you might never expect. We do not lose heart because God doesn’t lose heart in us! The proof we have of this truth is right here in our arms, in the Christ-child, God-with-Us.
Read or sing this to the tune ELLACOMBE (“I Sing the Mighty Power of God”):
Be strong, take heart, for God is good and goodness shall prevail.
Our hope is in the Lord, our Light, and God will never fail.
God’s love is pure, our faith is sure, with courage we live on,
for we will stand on living land with God, our hopeful song.
Rev. Stephen M. Fearing
Beaumont Presbyterian Church