April 23, 2020
“Hope is the Headline”
By Pastor Jason Duley
It’s a time of crisis. A public health emergency. An accompanying financial downturn. I get it. Fear is a natural response. And still the news is more negative than need be.
I looked at the news the other day and the headlines all invoked fear. The facts were bad, but the headlines didn’t even reflect the facts! And not all the stories were about COVID-19, either! I think fear must sell.
So when the telephone rang in my office, I was prepared to hear someone ask, “Did you hear the news?” And yes, this caller wanted to talk about the lead story of the moment. Their anxiety was almost palpable and compassion welled up in me.
I wonder what our mindsets would be if we started our day with a Psalm rather than the popular media?
What would the headline be for a day lived in hope?
Listen, I have to declare an interest here. Church is in the business of good news. Hope is the headline for Easter people! We have a faith that tells us to keep hope alive, because our Savior lives.
What if you — not any media source, but you — were to write the news of your day? What would your article cover? Probably it would be filled with meaningful events and small miracles that no newspaper could describe. There would be good stuff in there! You have the power to write a story of hope for your day.
In her insightful book, Right Here Right Now: The Practice of Christian Mindfulness, Dr. Amy Oden writes that “Christian mindfulness is the prayerful practice of paying attention in the present moment to God‘s abundant life.” You and I have the ability to experience God‘s peaceful presence at any time, even right here, even right now. It is a matter of changing our perspective, because fear can be our default. How wonderful to know that God offers a second opinion.
What if hope were the reporter in your life? Here’s a possible headline:
The Most High God Grants Permanent Forgiveness to Ordinary People
That’s John 3:16.
Or here’s one:
New Every Morning is the Love of God, All Day Long God is at Work for the Good of the World
No, that isn’t Time or Newsweek. It is Isaiah 43:1.
When hope is the headline, we are empowered to face the reality of uncertain times and fearful circumstances with clarity. Hope equips us to help others by sharing words of peace rather than parroting what sells, the negative drumbeat of the daily news.
May the God of peace guide your heart with hope today.
Email me to let me know what story of hope you’re writing today. It’s important to remain connected, we’re all in this together.