The COVID Bell Tolls for Us All
A very dear friend of mine has “breakthrough COVID.” He is hospitalized with significant neurological symptoms. Please pray. And PLEASE get vaccinated. If you are a Christian and want to follow the Lord’s command to love your neighbor, this is a concrete application right now.
Yes, this is a “breakthrough” case, but that’s because even the best vaccines for any disease aren’t perfect. Missouri’s numbers are startling and headed towards the worst we’d seen of the pandemic thus far. Other places already are setting new records. There are simply too many people spreading COVID right now and too much resistance to basic safety measures that would reduce spread.
The question for the Christian who is not yet vaccinated boils down to the sanctity of life. If you are pro-life, are you willing to be “inconvenienced” by a vaccine for the sake of saving other bearers of the Image of God? There’s a selfish reason to get it too: vaccination does lower your chances of infection, serious illness and death. But it is not about iron clad protection. It is about reducing the likelihood.
Like so many things in life, our decisions affect others. As John Donne reflected,
No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a Clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Mannor of thy friends or of thine owne were; any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.
People deciding they didn’t have a responsibility to protect others from COVID gave my friend COVID even though he did the right thing and got the vaccine, because even greatly reduced chances of infection aren’t zero. And the amount of risk of “not zero” naturally rises when lots of other people are playing a risky game that exposes you. Here’s a thread on how vaccines can be both helpful AND still fail in such a way that the loving answer isn’t just “Well, if you want to protect yourself, fine, get the vaccine — I have no obligation to you to get one, too.”
The Good Samaritan did what he did because it was loving, not convenient. Please get a vaccine and, while viral spread is really high, please follow WHO guidelines and mask up. Is this inconvenient? Yes. Is doing the right thing to love our neighbors inconvenient? Yes.
But, we all should care for whom the bell tolls. Our Lord does.
Do I see myself as I am? Do I see how God sees me? Tonight on Steadfast, we look at those important questions and how God turns the “Fall from Grace” on its head.
Jim takes us to Hosea to think about how we fail to take God seriously and live in accordance to His will. It’s a great, challenging message worth a few moments of your time.
Central Asia has another nation starting to stan for religious freedom.
“In Kazakhstan, all denominations can freely follow their religion,” said Yerzhan Nukezhanov, chairman of the committee for religious affairs, “and we will continue to create all necessary conditions for religious freedom.”
And, that is a truly fantastic pun to start the story on this fantastic news.
Jim Krenning and I reflect on the prayer walk before we jump back into the journey for one more loop on the “prayer walk trail.” It isn’t too late to share this wonderful time in prayer with our God during the FaithTree Online Community Prayer Walk!
Let’s turn to Romans 12:11-12 and think about what God calls us to and how we get to see that at the FaithTree Online Community Prayer Walk day today.
It’s FaithTree Online Community Prayer Walk day… 🙏🚶🏻 So, as we come to the afternoon, I wanted to share a bit of encouragement on prayer from Psalm 141.
The Verge reports:
Microsoft is putting Windows in the cloud. Windows 365 is a new service that will let businesses access Cloud PCs from anywhere, streaming a version of Windows 10 or Windows 11 in a web browser. While virtualization and remote access to PCs has existed for more than a decade, Microsoft is betting on Windows 365 to offer Cloud PCs to businesses just as they shift toward a mix of office and remote work.
This reminds me a great deal of the Network Computers (NC) of the late 1990’s. Come to think of it, we have multicolored iMacs again too… did I somehow time travel?
Why did God create me? How does understanding who God is help us to better understand His love for us? As we begin a new series looking at core beliefs the Bible teaches, we start at the one who starts everything: God. (If you’re interested, we’re working our way through the Little Hills/FaithTree statement of faith — you can check that out and then we’ll cover a portion of it each week by looking at what the Bible teaches on that subject.)
Paul says we should remember the “sound words.” What does that mean? How does that apply to us? I think often today, we’re not really even sure what “sound words” are; let’s think about that for a moment.