Government limitations on people’s ability to gather and worship their own faiths in their own ways have led to some of history’s lowest points. And so it’s understandable, even during global pandemic, why many push back against restrictions on where and when and with whom people can worship. Gathering together in faith is one of the things that builds social cohesion in a community; something modern day America is sorely lacking. My personal perspective is that we should view houses of worship as perhaps more essential than we do.
We’re loath to find a major world religion that does not count wisdom as a principle virtue though. So I’d like to take to take a second to impart some on my fellow Christians this week as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior. I’m not the government so take no alarm. I’m just a fellow Christian; a poor wayfaring stranger. But I’ve got a platform. And I’m obligated to speak my piece.
If you absolutely must attend an indoor, in person service this Christmas Eve of more than just a few people or so, than you almost certainly will be in the same room as someone infected with Covid 19. So here’s how you can go ahead and do that with a clear conscience.
First, let everyone know you did it.
Then, avoid contact with the following until the second week of the new year.
Anyone who is or will have close contact with anyone:
-Over the age of 70
-Has survived Cancer
-Has a history of heart disease.
-Takes blood pressure medication
-Has a history of kidney problems
-Has donated a kidney
-Has an auto-immune disorder
-Works in any capacity at an assisted living facility
-Has Downs Syndrome (10X more likely to be hospitalized. It’s near to a death sentence)
-Has special needs children that are immunocompromised
-Has no or high deductible health insurance
-Does not get paid vacation or sick time for their job
-Has no options for child care while they themselves quarantine
This list isn’t exhaustive. I’m sure I missed some. But you get the point. It’s a big list. I personally fall under multiple subsets. But if you absolutely must worship in person, indoors in a large group of people, avoiding contact with these people for two weeks afterwards is how you can do this, and still be aligned with the principles of wisdom, charity and kindness to your neighbors that being a Christian commands.
Here’s the catch though. The burden is on you to go and figure out where and when you might run into these folks. The good news is, if you took the first step and let them know as obviously as you can that you went to an indoor crowded room to sing together circa December 24th 2020, you’ll find they’ll mostly unburden you of the task of avoiding them by keeping clear of you.
As for me, I’ll be attending online services from my home; just me, my family and the Holy Spirit. Like the old days in the catacombs. God was there too. My father, having tested positive this week, will be isolated in an assisted living facility, alone, away from his family and loved ones this Christmas. Maybe you can say a prayer for him. Or for the others just like him. Or for the ones that will come from the service you’re attending.
Spend some time on this decision though. And don’t take the easy road out by saying it’s in the name of the Lord. Or it’s the government that’s trying to stop you. The Good Shepherd tends to his flock. And the Lord values wisdom. The book is pretty clear on this one.