Between war and political division, it’s already been a rough year. But Southwest Florida religious leaders are focusing on hope, faith and love for strangers this Passover and Easter.
“A lot of people talk about well, such crazy times, and of course, with the hurricane, and COVID before that, and of course, all the political turmoil in our country,” said Pastor Davi Acton with New Hope Church. “We don’t, we don’t ignore that. But I think that’s exactly why we can have faith today.”
“Easter is that time of year [when] we remember that hope has the final word, and not death and not destruction,” said Pastor Wes Olds with Grace Church. “And not hurricanes, and not wars or rumors of wars, or division. Instead, life has won. And hope is here for anybody who needs it.”
WINK News spoke to pastors, rabbis and reverends across Southwest Florida who say the holidays took on an extra special meaning this year, especially after Hurricane Ian.
“It’s hard to go into a holiday when your home doesn’t feel complete yet or when you really are a stranger in a strange place,” said Rabbi Nicole Luna with Temple Beth El. “This is a holiday that tells us to take care of those in need.”
They say the last six months have proven how much hope can do for a community. Whether you’re a religious person or not, the way Southwest Florida has risen after Ian is worth celebrating.
“I am super hopeful for what is to come,” Acton said. “God is not through with us yet. Our best days are still ahead.”