Today I walked into the middle school I work at, wrote my name on the "sign-in" sheet, and said, "Oh my, is it Dec. 1 already???" And then it hit me... there's a lot of baggage with this day for a lot of people. For some it's the loneliness of the holiday season approaching, for others it's the amount of junk that needs to be done between now and the 25th. But for many in my circle of family and friends, there are two prominent themes that make Dec. 1 a day to stop, spend some time in prayer, and then remember that we have hope.
First off, it's World Aids DayWorWds Day.
For more statistics and info. on what you can do to support those with this disease you can read last year's World Aids Day blog here. But just as quick reminder:
33.4 million people are currently living with HIV/AIDS and 67% of those infected are living is Sub-Saharan Africa (via UNAIDS). 33.4 million people is not just a statistic. The population of New York City is 8,391,881. If we emptied out NYC’s population entirely, we could only fit approximately 1/4 of the world’s HIV/AIDS victims in the largest city in the United States. NYC wouldn’t even hold half the victims in Sub-Saharan Africa. That is a LOT of people suffering from this pandemic.
33.4 million people is a lot of people who need prayer & hope. Today is a day we remember those lost from this virus, and pray for those who are fighting it. Take a moment to educate yourself on the issue (click here) and spend some time in prayer for our brothers and sisters. I, for one, believe in the power of prayer and am saddened by the amount of time I spend in prayer for those fighting this. This should be a daily thing - not a yearly reminder - so please know that I'm reminding myself about these things... not just reminding you! :)
Today is the anniversary of the Heath High School shooting in Paducah, KY. For some, you probably don't remember this day - but for those of us from Western Ky, this day is forever etched in our hearts and minds. I don't know of a person in our community who wasn't somehow connected to this tragedy, some more than others. So today we remember Kayce, Jessica, & Nicole. I pray peace and hope for their families and friends left behind.
Romans 5: 1-5
1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
Romans 15: 13
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.