A message from Pastor Matthias –
Matthew 25 has experienced a public surge in popularity over the past several years. In this chapter of Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus recites a list of vulnerable people — the imprisoned, the sick, the hungry, the stranger, the naked — and concludes by stating “what ever you have done for the least of these my siblings, you have done for me.” These verses can get twisted to support a detached sort of charity that is toxic and disempowering. But in essence, Jesus is pointing his followers to the primacy of caring for the most vulnerable. Some Liberation Theologians use the phrase “God’s preferential option for the poor.”
I have been thinking about these verses in light of our evolving COVID – 19 circumstances. As we have begun planning for a return to some in – person gatherings and worship, the drafts of those plans maintain more COVID – 19 precautions than are mandated by local and state officials. Many of us are vaccinated and eager to see loved ones, to hug, to partake in activities that have long been on pause, including gathering for worship together. Continuing to wear masks and observe distancing takes into account the more vulnerable among us. Some among us may be immunocompromised, for example. I’ve read accounts of the anxiety that the newest CDC mask guidelines and the repeal of mask mandates is causing for people who are immunocompromised. Children under age 12 are not yet able to get vaccinated. While infections in children tend to be less severe than in adults, it is not at all risk – free. I am so looking forward to being able to see one another in – person, and it will take time for us to get used to the transitions. We will pay attention to infection and vaccine rates, our own comfort levels, and the voice of Christ who emphasizes our obligation to one another and to the most vulnerable in among us.
Yours on the journey,