I don’t know about you, but I’m not the biggest fan of living through history. Granted, I think the age of technology makes this all the more intolerable as 24 hour news cycles berate us with the latest happening and tragedies. But I think we will all look back on these days of living through a global pandemic as a revelation of who we are…or at least who we thought we were. I for one have been amazed at the disregard of fellow human beings in the name of under researched posts or Biblically illiterate faith. Who would have thought that something so small would not only impact our way of life so much, but also hold up a mirror for us all to reflect on our communal selves.
Lets start first of all with the abject disregard for science. All of a sudden I’m supposed to trust the opinion of the guy who failed high school biology more than that of the Center for Disease Control?!? Yes, there were unknowns at the beginning of the pandemic (that’s kind of why COVID-19 is called a novel virus), but just as with anything else, once you know better, you do better. But it seemed the more we learned the worse we did. Did/do masks stop you from catching the virus…? No, they keep you from spreading the virus. For that matter so does social distancing. And don’t get me started on folks who are worried about the vaccine. Granted mRNA vaccines* may seem space age (truly they are marvelous) but nothing could be safer. We are literally getting the Genetic blue print to be able to build our own defense against the Virus without ever being exposed to the virus. There are infinitely small risk to this vaccine. Truly science has done everything it can to help us fight this virus; and if you’ve been praying for a miracle this is it…and yet many still deny the gift experts.
As if denying science wasn’t bad enough, many who claim Jesus as Lord have definitely gone off the rails when it comes to the handling of this pandemic. When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment is, his response is recorded as, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” – Matthew 22:37-40. Love God, love others. And yet, we have disregarded wearing masks, we have ignored social distancing principles and we have demanded for our individual rights at the expense of the lives of those around us. This is antithetical to the gospel that calls us to lay down our lives for our friends. Any religious justification of not getting the vaccine is ridiculous too.
If you call yourself Christian you are called to lay your life down for another. To sacrifice your very life for another is to do as Jesus has done. So whether you’re wearing an uncomfortable mask, keeping distance from friends and loved ones that you greatly miss, or getting a vaccine that you don’t fully understand, the call is clear. Christians should be the first to model what Jesus would do; wear the mask, get the vaccine, and keep your germs to yourself.
I truly believe Jesus would be lining up with the sick and dying to receive a vaccine to ensure the safety of others as well. He lined up at the rivers edge to be Baptized with sinners, even though he was sinless. The incarnation has always been about solidarity with humanity.
So is COVID19 the apocalypse? Not the way you’re probably thinking. However, the Greek word apokalypsis means “to reveal, to make known” and this virus has made much known to us. But we know how to get better. We know how to be better. So now, we should do better. After all, the entirety of scripture hangs on the law of loving others as much as loving God. For how can you love the Creator if you don’t love his Creation?
* This short article from the CDC does an excellent job of explaining mRNA vaccines https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines/how-they-work.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fvaccines%2Fabout-vaccines%2Fhow-they-work.html