Over a million people around the world have died from COVID (and more than half of those deaths have been in just three countries: USA, India and Brazil.) These people had parents, siblings, spouses, children and friends. This is so sad.

Last month I was at a Mayoral lunch with other Pastors and Bob Manning. Bob told us how he had recently met with Cairns small business owners, numerous of which thought that they could well go out of business because of the COVID-related tourism downturn. This not only affects these families but their employees and their families. Bob’s concern was obvious. And I’m guessing that you know numerous people who have either already lost their job or might lose it in the future. This is very sad.

Friends, there are so many people in just our city (let alone the rest of Australia or the world) who are struggling or doing it tough. This is the sad reality of life in this Fallen world. But we shouldn’t do what’s so easy to do—we shouldn’t just become indifferent or hardened to this, but should love our neighbours as ourselves.

So I just want to continue encouraging and urging you (& myself) to keep a soft-heart to those going through a hard time. Sometimes this can be hard! We are so used to seeing and hearing about people doing it tough that we can just end up mentally and physically ignoring them. And we know that some people have contributed to the state they’re in (it’s partly their fault). But think about you and God. You were lost and under his just and good anger because of your sin. And it was all your fault. … But God, “who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions” (Ephesians 2:4-5).

God treated you with mercy and grace, and we should be like our Father in Heaven and do likewise to others. So, is there something that your neighbours could really do with? Some way to help them? And are there things you could give away? The collection box for the Yarrabah Op Shop is always at the church Office (as well as the collection trolley for non-perishable foods for Anglicare). And for other things there is the Salvation Army store in Hoare Street or your local Vinnies collection bin.

“He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honours God.”Proverbs 14:31.