From the Pastor's Desk
“THIS IS NOT AN APOLOGY”
An apology means you regret doing or saying whatever, and that you will try not to do it
again. But I’m not apologizing for being a bit … or even a lot … offensive to some of you right now. My only regret is that it is necessary. And I will do it again, if I have to.
• Choosing to NOT wear a mask is just plain selfish.
• Choosing to NOT physical distance is just plain selfish.
Some say, “I don’t believe in the virus.” What if you’re wrong? What if you get it, and give it to the person you love the most and they die? It’s not a hoax. It’s a virus. Like the flu, the common cold, HIV, herpes, measles, mumps and chicken pox. All of those (except colds and herpes) have had catastrophic global effects too—just so long ago that we don’t think much about it.
Some say, “It’s uncomfortable to wear a mask.” Do you remember the last beloved family member you lost? Was that more uncomfortable than wearing a mask? Do you want to feel that pain all over again? There are dozens, maybe hundreds of varieties of masks. You can find one that works for you.
Some say, “It violates my basic freedoms” That’s the argument used against mandated seatbelt wearing. Do you buckle up? We need to remember that exercising our free will should not (must not) cause hurt to ourselves or others.
Some say, “My body, my choice” While you may not be afraid to contract a disease that could be debilitating, or fatal, do you have the right infect others? Do you drink and drive? Again, exercising our free will should not (must not) cause hurt to ourselves and others.
Some say, “It’s the liberal agenda” Really? Politics? Conservatives blame liberals, liberals blame conservatives when the reality is a virus is a living organism that evolves from other living organisms. Not a political being.
It’s not against your religion – In 1 Corinthians, Paul writes about how, as a Christian, he no longer has to follow the Jewish laws. Then he says, “Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak.” (1Cor. 8:9) If your “legal” behavior could hurt someone else, don’t do it. In Matthew 7:12, Jesus says, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”
While I do not apologize for being in-your-face offensive, I am sorry. I am sorry, I feel sorrow, that people who love and worship God, who have promised to serve God by loving others, who have given so amazingly generously to help the folks who need help the most do not see that the simple precautions the CDC recommends is the same as serving God by loving others. It’s the same as donating 54 Thanksgiving boxes for families in our community who are struggling.
I feel sorrow that, after 9 ½ years at Desert Chapel of preaching and teaching that we should love one another because God first loved us, and that love is a verb that means looking out for the best interests of others, some still have not gotten it, still think it’s okay to put their wants and their comfort above the needs of others.
In both our Saturday outreach missions and during office hours during the week, many people come without masks, without distancing. Brothers and sisters, I know, I KNOW we are tired of this. We all want a return to “normal.” We all want this to go away. But it will not go away if people, if we, refuse to follow the protocols and guidelines put in place by the CDC for our own good.
Please, love you neighbor as yourself. Please, treat others the way you want to be treated, with care, compassion and respect. Please, wear a mask. Please, maintain physical distance. Please, remember that doing so will bring about the change we so desperately need right now
Pasor Sharon Pajak