๐–๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ข๐Ÿ ๐‚๐ก๐ซ๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ๐ข๐š๐ง๐ฌ ๐ฅ๐ž๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฐ๐š๐ฒ ๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ? โ€“ ๐‘๐ž๐๐ž๐Ÿ๐ข๐ง๐ข๐ง๐  ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐ž๐ž๐๐จ๐ฆ ๐š๐œ๐œ๐จ๐ซ๐๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐จ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐‚๐ซ๐จ๐ฌ๐ฌ

๐‘ฐ๐’• ๐’Š๐’” ๐’‡๐’๐’“ ๐’‡๐’“๐’†๐’†๐’…๐’๐’Ž ๐’•๐’‰๐’‚๐’• ๐‘ช๐’‰๐’“๐’Š๐’”๐’• ๐’‰๐’‚๐’” ๐’”๐’†๐’• ๐’–๐’” ๐’‡๐’“๐’†๐’†โ€ฆ๐‘ญ๐’๐’“ ๐’š๐’๐’– ๐’˜๐’†๐’“๐’† ๐’„๐’‚๐’๐’๐’†๐’… ๐’•๐’ ๐’ƒ๐’† ๐’‡๐’“๐’†๐’†. ๐‘ถ๐’๐’๐’š ๐’…๐’ ๐’๐’๐’• ๐’–๐’”๐’† ๐’š๐’๐’–๐’“ ๐’‡๐’“๐’†๐’†๐’…๐’๐’Ž ๐’‚๐’” ๐’‚๐’ ๐’๐’‘๐’‘๐’๐’“๐’•๐’–๐’๐’Š๐’•๐’š ๐’‡๐’๐’“ ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’‡๐’๐’†๐’”๐’‰, ๐’ƒ๐’–๐’• ๐’•๐’‰๐’“๐’๐’–๐’ˆ๐’‰ ๐’๐’๐’—๐’† ๐’”๐’†๐’“๐’—๐’† ๐’๐’๐’† ๐’‚๐’๐’๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’“. ๐‘ญ๐’๐’“ ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’†๐’๐’•๐’Š๐’“๐’† ๐’๐’‚๐’˜ ๐’Š๐’” ๐’”๐’–๐’Ž๐’Ž๐’†๐’… ๐’Š๐’ ๐’•๐’‰๐’Š๐’”: โ€œ๐‘ณ๐’๐’—๐’† ๐’š๐’๐’–๐’“ ๐’๐’†๐’Š๐’ˆ๐’‰๐’ƒ๐’๐’“ ๐’‚๐’” ๐’š๐’๐’–๐’“๐’”๐’†๐’๐’‡โ€. โ€“ ๐‘ฎ๐’‚๐’๐’‚๐’•๐’Š๐’‚๐’๐’” 5

As an epidemiologist whose work is motivated greatly by my faith, my career has been anchored around helping the most vulnerable. Iโ€™ve often called the field of epidemiology, โ€œthe field of the Good Samaritanโ€. (And interpreting the data through that lens). During the current pandemic, we know who the vulnerable are โ€“ and, we also know what it means to not walk on by.

What if the greatest expression of faith we can give to the world includes not walking by? Maybe the harvest is ripe and weโ€™re missing the opportunity?

๐‘พ๐’‰๐’‚๐’• ๐’…๐’๐’†๐’” ๐’•๐’‰๐’‚๐’• ๐’Ž๐’†๐’‚๐’?
That means doing what the Good Samaritan did โ€“ He inconvenienced himself to serve.

๐‘พ๐’‰๐’‚๐’• ๐’Š๐’‡ ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’•๐’‰๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ๐’” ๐’•๐’‰๐’‚๐’• ๐’‡๐’†๐’†๐’ ๐’๐’Š๐’Œ๐’† ๐’‚๐’ ๐’Š๐’๐’‡๐’“๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ๐’†๐’Ž๐’†๐’๐’• ๐’๐’‡ ๐’‡๐’“๐’†๐’†๐’…๐’๐’Ž ๐’‚๐’“๐’† ๐’‚๐’„๐’•๐’–๐’‚๐’๐’๐’š ๐’†๐’™๐’‘๐’“๐’†๐’”๐’”๐’Š๐’๐’๐’” ๐’๐’‡ ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐‘ช๐’“๐’๐’”๐’”?
Without Jesus, the tools of wearing a mask and staying home can feel like an infringement of freedom. However, when we let Jesus redefine freedom according to the greatest act of self-less love at the Cross โ€“ perhaps our witness is more than we could have ever imagined.

๐‘ป๐’‰๐’†๐’”๐’† ๐’‚๐’„๐’•๐’” ๐’ƒ๐’†๐’„๐’๐’Ž๐’† ๐’‡๐’‚๐’Š๐’•๐’‰-๐’‡๐’Š๐’๐’๐’†๐’… ๐’“๐’‚๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’“ ๐’•๐’‰๐’‚๐’ ๐’‡๐’†๐’‚๐’“-๐’Š๐’๐’…๐’–๐’„๐’†๐’….
Masks and physical distancing do not hinder our freedom or show fear. But, rather could be the strongest symbols of the Cross and Galatians 5 we can give to the world.

๐€๐ฌ ๐š ๐‚๐ก๐ซ๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ๐ข๐š๐ง ๐š๐ง๐ ๐š๐ง ๐ž๐ฉ๐ข๐๐ž๐ฆ๐ข๐จ๐ฅ๐จ๐ ๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ, ๐ฅ๐ž๐ญ ๐ฆ๐ž ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐ฉ๐จ๐ฌ๐ž ๐Ÿ ๐ฐ๐š๐ฒ๐ฌ ๐ญ๐จ ๐๐ข๐ฌ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐š๐ฒ ๐†๐š๐ฅ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐š๐ง๐ฌ ๐Ÿ“:

1) ๐‘พ๐’‰๐’‚๐’• ๐’Š๐’‡ ๐’˜๐’† ๐’–๐’”๐’†๐’… ๐’๐’–๐’“ ๐’‡๐’“๐’†๐’†๐’…๐’๐’Ž ๐’Š๐’ ๐‘ช๐’‰๐’“๐’Š๐’”๐’• ๐’•๐’ ๐’”๐’‰๐’๐’˜ ๐’Ž๐’†๐’“๐’„๐’š ๐’•๐’‰๐’“๐’๐’–๐’ˆ๐’‰ ๐’˜๐’†๐’‚๐’“๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’‚ ๐’Ž๐’‚๐’”๐’Œ? What if we let it be a statement of faith not fear? What if itโ€™s not an infringement of our freedom, but rather a statement of freedom through the Cross? What if wearing a mask can become an overflow of mercy displayed on the Cross because it loves and protects my neighbor?

Itโ€™s a perspective shift.

2) ๐‘พ๐’‰๐’‚๐’• ๐’Š๐’‡ ๐’๐’๐’† ๐’๐’‡ ๐’๐’–๐’“ ๐’ˆ๐’“๐’†๐’‚๐’•๐’†๐’”๐’• ๐’‚๐’„๐’•๐’” ๐’๐’‡ ๐’๐’๐’—๐’† ๐’•๐’ ๐’๐’–๐’“ ๐’๐’†๐’Š๐’ˆ๐’‰๐’ƒ๐’๐’“๐’” ๐’Š๐’” ๐’•๐’ ๐’”๐’•๐’‚๐’š ๐’‰๐’๐’Ž๐’† ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’Ž๐’†๐’†๐’• ๐’๐’๐’๐’Š๐’๐’† ๐’‡๐’๐’“ ๐’„๐’‰๐’–๐’“๐’„๐’‰ ๐’ƒ๐’†๐’„๐’‚๐’–๐’”๐’† ๐’๐’‡ ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’“๐’Š๐’”๐’Œ? Not forever, but one of the acts of faith we can have as churches is to stay online when cases are increasing (I would consider this being in areas with positivity rates over 8-10%). When cases are on the rise, the risk of spread in enclosed spaces is greater, even with masking and good physical distancing measures in place. Singing in enclosed spaces adds another layer of risk (see other church resources below). For a time, what if we did what we could in the church to be a part of the solution?

Please know I say all of this with great care as a person who loves the Lord, who has always loved the church, is married to a pastor, and believes deeply in the value of what the church is and can be.

๐‹๐ž๐ญโ€™๐ฌ ๐ซ๐ž๐๐ข๐ซ๐ž๐œ๐ญ ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐ž๐ž๐๐จ๐ฆ ๐จ๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐š๐ ๐š๐ข๐ง ๐ญ๐จ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐‚๐ซ๐จ๐ฌ๐ฌ, ๐š๐ง๐œ๐ก๐จ๐ซ ๐ข๐ญ ๐ข๐ง ๐‚๐ก๐ซ๐ข๐ฌ๐ญโ€™๐ฌ ๐ฆ๐ž๐ซ๐œ๐ฒ, ๐š๐ง๐ ๐๐ข๐ฌ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐š๐ฒ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฐ๐จ๐ซ๐ฅ๐ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฌ๐ž๐ž. ๐“๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž ๐ข๐ฌ ๐š ๐ฐ๐š๐ฒ ๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ. ๐‹๐ž๐ญโ€™๐ฌ ๐ฅ๐ž๐ญ ๐ฅ๐จ๐ฏ๐ž ๐š๐ง๐ ๐‚๐ก๐ซ๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ-๐œ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ž๐ซ๐ž๐ ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐ž๐ž๐๐จ๐ฆ ๐ฅ๐ž๐š๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฐ๐š๐ฒ.

๐’๐ข๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐ฐ๐ž ๐š๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐‚๐ก๐ฎ๐ซ๐œ๐ก ๐œ๐š๐ง ๐ญ๐š๐ค๐ž ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ฉ๐ฌ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฌ๐ฅ๐จ๐ฐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฌ๐ฉ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐‚๐Ž๐•๐ˆ๐ƒ-๐Ÿ๐Ÿ—, ๐ฐ๐ก๐ฒ ๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐จ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ซ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฆ ๐ฎ๐ฉ ๐š๐ฌ ๐š ๐ฌ๐š๐œ๐ซ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ข๐œ๐ž ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐Ÿ๐š๐ข๐ญ๐ก? ๐๐ฅ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ข๐ง๐ ๐ฌ ๐ก๐š๐ฉ๐ฉ๐ž๐ง ๐จ๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฌ๐ž ๐š๐ฅ๐ญ๐š๐ซ๐ฌ ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐จ๐ฆ ๐š ๐†๐จ๐ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ-๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ฌ๐ฎ๐ฆ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ซ๐ž ๐š๐ง๐ ๐š ๐†๐จ๐ ๐ฐ๐ก๐จ ๐›๐ฅ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ž๐ฑ๐œ๐ž๐ž๐๐ข๐ง๐ ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐š๐›๐ฎ๐ง๐๐š๐ง๐ญ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ฆ๐จ๐ซ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ง ๐ฐ๐ž ๐œ๐š๐ง ๐š๐ฌ๐ค ๐จ๐ซ ๐ข๐ฆ๐š๐ ๐ข๐ง๐ž.

For other church resources, see:
1) How to navigate church in a pandemic based on data.
https://tinyurl.com/y9gpyte2

2) Who is the neighbor?
https://tinyurl.com/y9ykykve

3) What about singing?
https://tinyurl.com/y9vcnhco

4) Other good articles.
https://tinyurl.com/yb4s3w6c

– Friendly neighbor epidemiologist
*Praying Psalm 91 and living Galatians 5

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: