Given by Rev. Madison Shockley March 15, 2020

Our celebration today is unique. We are trying to follow the precautions so all worshipers are safe. Rev. Shockley is committed to being here each Sunday even if others cannot. As the Gospel says, all we have is hope. The Spirit has brought us the words we need to hear today. Suffering leads to endurance which leads to character which leads to hope. Everyone has experienced suffering. The message from Paul is that God is with those who suffer. Hundreds of thousands are currently suffering from COVID 19. Let us not take comfort in the fact that 80% will not suffer a severe case.  Mild cases are still suffering. To make it through, Paul says it takes endurance. How we make it through suffering is character. It reveals the character of our community. It reveals the character of our country, our world. It shows everyone how we treat each other. Do we hoard or do we share? Do we ignore or do we check on others? We will make it through together. That requires hope. Hope is the currency of faith in times of the unknown.  Be a Christian and act with hope each and every day.