Some recent reports seem to indicate that this virus will be a permanent part of our society, and we may be getting the Covid vaccine annually. This may mean we will have to wear masks for many more years to come.
The greatest opposition to any public safety actions such as wearing masks, social distancing, and avoiding dangerous large group gatherings all came from church groups. It left me asking what may be at the source of the problem.
At the foundation of the problem is an absence of the theology of reciprocity in the US's conservative Christianity. One of the tenets of Progressive Christianity is the concept of reciprocity.
The theology of reciprocity states that we love because we have been loved. We accept all people because when we were unacceptable, God accepted us. When we did not feel that we belonged anywhere, God called us Children of God and invited us to be a part of God's eternal family.
Our relationships with others are based on the idea that God has given us all that we need so that we can be generous to others. God has given us life, so we can also work to give other people life. Because God has been compassionate, we too are to be compassionate to others.
Furthermore, this means we do not live for our personal gain, but our theology is one of emptying ourselves for the sake of others. Scripture says that Jesus emptied himself for us knowing that upon his return to heaven, God will restore all that he had given up. In the same way, we can live our lives caring for people and their needs believing that God will take care of us.
Because we believe in God, we do not have to worry about giving up a little of convenience and wear a mask. Even though we want to meet together, we can forgo meeting together in person for a short while for the sake of everyone's safety. Although we want to go back to life as we have known before, we look for the spirit of God amid the pandemic.
This Sunday, we will have Rev. Kikanza Nuri-Robins, a long-time friend of United University Church and a friend I respect dearly preaching for us.