It is a week before Thanksgiving (Oct 11, 2021) and I seem to be caught in a spin. Like a spinning wheel that revolves around and around and seems to constantly return to the same starting point. It is the now ‘normal’ that is confusing. Going to the store the other day I forgot to wear a mask and was intercepted by a young fellow shouting: “Sir, you need to wear a mask”. I apologized and went back to my car and got my mask on. What is happening to us?
Going to church is now a contest of sucking in enough breath of air to sing the hymn on the worship screen. Like sucking through a straw. It is difficult to sing the Lord’s praises with a mask on for an octogenarian like me; I do not understand why the 40 or so people in the church sanctuary (big enough for 300 + people) need to wear masks. But if we are all fully vaxxed the chances of spreading something affecting each other is very remote. Is it not? It’s a provincial Covid restriction rule they say.
That brings me to the present Canadian situation.
In the Province of Alberta, medical staff are exhausted they say; because the hospitals are full of Covid patients who have NOT been vaxxed. The Saskatchewan hospitals are also full. Medical staff is warning of a disaster to come, where some Covid people will be triaged to lesser care because of staff shortages. We also hear much news of medical nurses quitting their jobs, too much stress and too many extra hours of work have become unmanageable situations. New Brunswick is facing the same dilemma. Where will it all end? The army is coming to help out they say, but will that stop new no-vaxx Covid cases?. These are head issues in the sense that, how do to you convince someone to consider another truth. This is war but not the kind an army can fix or blow away. (the average 7 day increase in positive tests in Alberta right now is 10.9%; in Saskatchewan it is 13.3%; why so high there? Ontario is only 1.9% but then Ontario has been under stricter rules than other Provinces and I guess that has paid off in subduing the spread of this vicious virus.)
And still there are people protesting, No Vax. And there are also people protesting No masks. Some are saying ‘my body my choice’. Yes, but a choice to get VERY sick? is a BAD choice!
The media shows us video clips of people in ICU with all the technology we know of, strapped to their bodies to help them breathe, to live. There are stories of people suddenly missing a loved one; healthy one week and the next a funeral. And some do not believe it can hurt them. Others say you are mistrusting God if you get the shot. Can it truly be so?
Next, we have the No certificates, mandated to prove we are vaxxed in order to be safe for others who also are attending the restaurants, sports events and other group get-to-gethers? This is a privacy concern they say, and not the business of others to know. But have they ever been stopped to show their driver’s license or health card? Of course; so ‘Where is the beef?’ (a slogan from a Wendy’s hamburger Ad in 1984. It increased sales by 31%. Maybe we should use it to draw the attention of the No vax crowd?)
The production, research and advance of this vaccine has been nothing but a heaven sent miracle effort. I know much of the world believes this is ‘look at us’ taking control of our lives, but I really consider this be a gift from God. Yes, smart people made it, but our created reality has made smart people (see note at bottom) able and possible to get it done. It almost reminds you of that sermon on the book of Psalms, song number 8 (a King David song, a song fit for a King) and also the quote in the letter to the Hebrews in chapter 2; where we read “Yet you have made him (mankind) a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands….” Mankind made in the “likeness of God” has been endowed and enabled by the Eternal to discover and make this medical breakthrough for our time. A God given gift. We agree with the Kingly Psalmist when he says: Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! Oh, the common grace God freely gives!
Shall we waste this gift, reject it and despise its usefulness. No way!
Are there issues with this about how to protect everyone? Yes. Are we concerned that our egos and privacy will make us feel more or less important than others? No doubt. But let’s together see this through. Will the virus be gone soon, like the Spanish flu or the eradication of small pox and polio? Nah, I think we will always need to be on our toes. And remember the rebelliousness in ourselves will not always be overcome by the kindnesses of this world. Just see what happens when we participate in our national religion called “Politics”. Everyone for himself! Give it to the other team and give it often.
So then how will we celebrate Thanksgiving? Lets give a handshake for the Amens of thankfulness for the fruit of the land, including the fruit of medical research and discovery of all types of ‘sweet fruits’ to make us well again and drive away sadness, despair and the angry-nous of all; disease and sickness, viruses that attack and devour the old and the young. (to date almost 5 million world wide)
We will celebrate in humbleness and sincerity and acknowledge that our lives are but a ‘breath’ and that we are not ourselves but are part and of the Eternal’s big plan. Let’s do our part. Be kind get your shots! and give thanks to God for His marvelous gifts to mankind!
The 3rd and last verse of ‘We Gather Together’ a favourite Thanksgiving hymn is:
We all do extol you, our leader triumphant,
And pray that you still our defender wilt be.
Let your congregation escape tribulation; (like the virus and other oppressions)
Your name be ever praised! O Lord, make us free!
JS October 4, 2021
NOTE: God has given ability to mankind by his Spirit. In the Book of Exodus, at the construct of the Temple, chapter 31; verses 1 through 5 it tells us: The Lord said to Moses, 2 “See, I (the Lord) have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 3 and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, 4 to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, 5 in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, to work in every craft.