These are crazy times we are living in!
As if we don’t have enough division in the world already, now we seem to have a controversy over whether or not to wear a face mask when in public.
Some object to it because they think it makes them look foolish. Others see it as an inconvenience or a violation of their rights. Others cite some of our leaders aren’t setting the needed example. Still others claim facemasks don’t protect anyone, or that the whole Covid-19 crisis is a hoax.
We are a sadly divided people!
Yet the facts are, our health professionals (locally, regionally, and nationally) urge us to wear a mask when we are in a public setting.
Why? Because even though restaurants, bars and stores are opening up, the COVID-19 Virus hasn’t gone away.
As I write this article today, confirmed cases of the virus have spiked in 20 states!
We are currently seeing one new confirmed case in St Croix County each day, and our numbers have doubled over the past month.
And nationally, over 125,000 people have now lost their lives to this disease!
So can I ask you? .....
If Jesus were walking our streets today, do you think he would wear a mask in public? Why, or why not?
How do you think Jesus would suggest we best “love our neighbor”?
Would Jesus be concerned about being uncomfortable or inconvenienced? Would his concern be with his vanity and appearance?
Would you see Jesus arguing over his civil rights? Would he insult or make fun of those who were frightened for their lives?
Or, would Jesus discount the counsel of medical experts?
Think of it, friends: The Jesus we preach was willing to experience humiliation, suffering, and death to save the people he loved.
It seems to me, if Jesus would die on a cross for us, he would wear a mask for us.
He would do everything in his power to protect our well-being and show his care in practical ways … like wearing a mask.
Christians should be leading the way in loving our neighbors and caring for the vulnerable. That is not just Jesus’ job, it’s your job and mine, too!
What troubles me most is seeing people in public places without masks is sensing our convenience now overshadows our caring.
Liberty has become more important to some than love.
And we have lost a sense of common courtesy and respect for those around us.
Wearing a mask is not the only way to show our faith and our values, but it is ONE of the ways.
As a pastor in this community of faith, I hope and pray this crisis will bring out “the best” in those of us who claim to follow Jesus.
I also hope you will be a living example of Christ’s love, care, concern, compassion and respect for those around you.
Please, when you’re in a public setting, think about the good of others. Jesus does.
Put on your mask!
John Lestock is pastor of Bethel Lutheran Church in Hudson.