As I write this today we here in the USA are into day 37 of the shutdown, shelter in place, whatever you want to call it. In our nation’s attempt to acquire control of the Covid-19 we have been given a list of things to do to keep safe and a list of things that we can’t do because of the risk to ourselves and others. A long time ago a thing identified as a plague, one of many brought upon Egypt, required the Israelites to shelter in place, so to speak, and to put the blood of a lamb over their door as the Angel of the Lord passed by. They did this to avoid the loss of life to the first born of each household in Egypt as punishment for the Pharaoh’s refusal to let God’s people go. At present we are in our homes to protect us and others from this virus. If we have to go out we are told to maintain a distance of 6ft between us and others and we are to wear a face mask, social distancing they call it. All of these measures are in place to curtail the spread of this virus. You may not know it but we in the faith community have been or should be practicing a form of our own social distancing, I call it a form of biblical distancing. A virus infects our bodies, it can infect those we come into contact with and in general contaminate all areas of our life and those around us. Let’s equate this virus, Covid-19 with sin, sin can do all of the previous things written here and adds a couple of others….It can attack our hearts and minds and it separates us from God.
The six foot rule has become a huge part of the social distancing mantra. It along with sheltering in place would be two things everybody can do to reduce the spread of the virus. There is and has alway been social distancing within the Christian faith and community which was directed to one particular evil and one segment of society. Sin and Sinners, those things of the devil and the people who carried them among society in general. To make this just a bit easier, sin is anything that separates us from God and in scripture we actually find lists. Not only the lists of sins but also the consequences. I suggest you read Romans 1:24-27 and I will put here verses 28-32.
28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind and to things that should not be done. 29 They were filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, craftiness, they are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, rebellious toward parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 They know God’s decree, that those who practice such things deserve to die—yet they not only do them but even applaud others who practice them.
One caveat I must add here would be Christians are commanded to go among God’s children and take the Good News. Not exactly keeping that distance thing going is it? A Christian has a powerful vaccine to keep the evil from them, the Holy Spirit leads and protects as we do God’s work. Keep in mind the comparison we are trying to craft here. If we put aside those things that will keep us safe from the virus, bad things can happen to us and others around us. Here in Roman 1:24-32 we see what happens to the people who chose to ignore God, what that led to and the consequences of their sinful behavior. Just as we find those in this day that reject the messages from health care professionals, governments and their leaders to do “their thing” there were people in the Christ’s Day who would deny the dangers of sin. Matthew 15:19 “For out of the heart come evil intentions, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander.”They would call good what God called evil. Isaiah 5:20 “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” There will be consequences, we can’t say that enough. To ignore this virus will not bode well for any of us and in kind, to sin against God will not bode well for all God’s children. Again I remind you there is such a thing as biblical distancing. Scripture tells us over and over to avoid sin in heart, mind and body. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 “9 Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites, 10 thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers—none of these will inherit the kingdom of God.” There is as I wrote earlier many lists pertaining to different sins. You may want to look at these in more detail, Gal. 5: 19-20; Eph. 5: 3-6; Col. 3: 5-6. Sin and Covid-19 require preventive measures and practices that keep us safe from infection. Both different but there is a parallel between them. To fall away from that which protects us has dire consequences.
In time we will have a vaccine for this virus that infects our bodies, for those of the faith we have the mercy and grace of God to heal our bodies, minds and hearts. Social Distancing decreases the chance of being exposed to the virus, Biblical Distancing, identifying and avoiding sin allows us to say “all is well with my soul.” Stay in, Stay well and keep the faith.
Life is Good