I know. I’m supposed to use this space to talk about “spiritual” things. You come here, if you do at all, to read about the Bible and Jesus or to hear about what’s happening at church. You don’t come here to read about politics or controversial topics or to have your personal life invaded. But the idea that Jesus is only concerned about “spiritual” things is just flat wrong. Jesus is concerned about everything. Read your Bible, and you’ll see. Bodies are as important to him as souls or spirits are. Everything is. So here’s the message I want to give: Take the vaccine.
Yesterday, I stood in my yard praying and watching as an ambulance took my neighbor away. The day before, I spoke to my son who is a physician assistant in an emergency room in Florida. He’s tired. He’s burned out. He’s looking for another job. He’s tired of the swelling tide of unvaccinated people gasping for breath. It’s also this. A nurse he works with has died. This nurse, a young man in his thirties, swabbed noses of the sick day in and day out until he too contracted the disease. It was my son who treated him in the ER when the nurse came in not to work but as a patient. It was my son who admitted him. And he died. Take the vaccine.
There’s more. I know a twenty-seven-year-old from Wayne county who is in a hospital on a ventilator. I am hearing first-hand reports of our local emergency room having every room full of people who are coughing and gasping for breath. Our schools are desperately trying to staff classrooms. And stay open. Our church is on the verge of telling you not to bring your children here because they can’t yet receive the vaccine. Take the vaccine.
Wayne County’s vaccination rate is stuck at about thirty percent. I honestly thought we were smarter than that here. I did. There are legitimate reasons for some people not taking it, but not for most. The reasons I do hear are, frankly, ridiculous. Let me be plain. The vaccine is not the mark of the beast. I don’t care what TV or internet preacher told you that. I’ve read Revelation. And believe it or not, there are two diplomas on my shelf from a real, reputable, Southern Baptist seminary, not from a degree mill. Both those diplomas say summa cum laude. The book of Revelation is mysterious, enigmatic, and hard to understand, but I know this about it. It does not say the vaccine is the mark of the beast. Nor does the vaccine contain a chip to track you. Your cell phone does, but you happily sign up for that. The vaccine does not.
And this. You are free not to take the vaccine. You are free to endanger your own life. You are not free to endanger others. That nurse at the ER where my son works, his life was endangered by people who refused the vaccine. So are the people around you here. Take the vaccine.
Final word. Jesus says, and Paul says, the entire message of Scripture is brought together in a single command. Love your neighbor as yourself. That is God’s command to you, and that is how Christians live in the world. Right now, the most loving thing you can do for your neighbor is to take the vaccine. Do it, please, for children who are getting sick, for health care workers, for your neighbors, your co-workers. And if not for them, do it for Jesus’ sake.