August 20, 2021
As a parent, I have been watching our nation argue about rights and responsibilities around children wearing masks in school. As a parent of school-aged children, I have joined other parents in feeling dismay as elected politicians have removed the rights of local school officials to choose masks to protect our children. Parents and children have already sacrificed for the last two school years, moving to home learning, which was not ideal for our children or teachers. Now, when adults can be vaccinated (but many are choosing not to) and children cannot, those same adults are forgetting our sacrifice and asking us to trust that they know better than the CDC and the medical community.
As a parent, I move between outrage and sadness. In our house, we are blessed that our children are both old enough for the vaccine (our daughter just had her second this week). But other families I know don’t have that safety measure protecting their children. Instead, they have to make tough choices that shouldn’t be asked of them at this stage of the game.
As a pastor, I believe that we are called to put others first. “Do to others as you want done to you.” Over and over, Scripture tells us to love one another, even our enemies. I posted on my Facebook wall a scripture that sums it up: “Instead of each person watching out for their own good, watch out for what is better for others,” Philippians 2:4, CEB. Or, if you prefer, we can ask that once-popular question, “What Would Jesus Do?”
As a pastor, I believe the use of masks, even by those who are vaccinated, continues to put others first. It continues to let others around us know that while we may think it’s unnecessary, we are willing to be uncomfortable for a bit longer for them. Jesus would be wearing a mask right now, and I believe Jesus weeps alongside the parents who weep and is angry alongside the parents who are angry.
As Galatians said so well: “Let’s not get tired of doing good, because in time we’ll have a harvest if we don’t give up. So then, let’s work for the good of all whenever we have an opportunity, and especially for those in the household of faith,” Galatians 6:9-10, CEB. Sure, the author wasn’t talking about a pandemic, but it applies. Let’s not tire of doing good. Keep up the good work, sharing love with others by masking up for a while longer. It’s for the good for all.
See you soon,
Three ways to access our pre-recorded service:
- From the main menu on our website click “Worship.”
- Go to YouTube and search for UMC St. Mark’s Oro Valley or use this link.
- The YouTube link will also be shared on Facebook St. Mark’s UMC Tucson or use this link.
The service goes live at 9:45 a.m.