The Beginning of the End

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth . . . (Revelation 21:1a)

Margaret Keenan, a grandmother in the United Kingdom, who turns 91 next week, said the injection was the “best early birthday present.” She was the first recorded COVID-19 vaccine recipient earlier this week. As she received the injection, those who watched applauded in excitement.

However, the second recipient may be my favorite. 81-year-old William Shakespeare from Warwickshire, England, just about 30 kilometers from the original Shakespeare’s hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon. A local headline read: “Taming of the Flu.” As I heard these stories on my morning walk on Tuesday, I felt tears well up in my eyes. This is the beginning of the end of this nightmare.

As cases of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) have spiked across the country, the circle of those affected has seemed to draw closer around me. The deaths of the father of a high school friend, the father of a fraternity brother, the mother of a church member have all been haunting reminders of the power of this virus.

And the dreaded call of one of our staff testing positive came last weekend. While suffering many symptoms, this staff person is currently convalescing at home, not currently requiring hospitalization. However, it does require a deep clean and disinfecting of our administration building and sending all staff home to work remotely until the week of Christmas. And seeing deep looks of concern on the faces of our staff who are worried about their colleague as well as their own health.

It seems fitting that vaccine roll-out would occur during the season of Advent. The liturgical season of waiting and expectation. Just as the early people of faith were awaiting a Messiah who would come and bring better days. We wait for life to return to some sense of normalcy and look with eagerness for better days ahead.

As I said recently while signing off from the last Board of Deacons Zoom meeting of 2020: “May your New Year be filled with vaccines!”

Prayer Focus:
All who are fighting COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Loving Physician, thank you for all the ways that you make yourself known to us. Amen.