Another surge in area COVID numbers, due to the Omicron variant, is headline news. We’ve gone from a seven-day average of new cases being below 200 to an average of 3,894 as of January 3. Though this variant is not as dangerous, hospitalizations have doubled over that same time, including some children. Omicron is less dangerous, but much more contagious. Therefore…
(You can hear it coming, and you sigh deeply, perhaps roll your eyes. I get it. I don’t want to hear it either. I don’t want to feel like we’re moving backward. But it’s where we are living on this COVID roller coaster.)
Therefore… I would recommend you prayerfully consider wearing a mask and practicing distancing on Sundays. This is not a mandate, but a request. If you’re not worried about you getting COVID, keep in mind the larger part of wearing a mask is to protect others from what you might otherwise share with them. Part of Omicron’s contagion is because it tends to be milder and sometimes without any symptoms at all, so people go on about their lives and inadvertently “share” the virus with others. Vaccinated folks have a lower chance of getting COVID, and a much lower likelihood of having a bad case of it, but it’s not zero. So please, vaccinated or not, consider wearing a mask and distancing on Sunday. It’s one of the ways you can “love your neighbor.”
And, I hate to say it, some of you with health compromises should consider worshiping via YouTube. But don’t just tune in, listen and watch. Worship! Sing God’s praises out loud! Read along with the congregational prayer. Really join in praying for the needs lifted up. Take notes, and consider your personal response to the sermon. Really worship!
It’s been over two years since our world was turned upside down. This is a test of our perseverance. But it’s nothing compared to Moses enduring forty years in the wilderness, the people of Judea clinging to faith during four hundred years without a prophetic word from God, or the early Christians living a marginalized existence for lifetimes. They did it before us. We can do it today, with the help of God.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us.” – Hebrews 12:1
See you Sunday!