Thought for the Day: And let me begin by suggesting that one of the better ways of clothing ourselves with these God-like attributes is with a mask. Yesterday, I went to the grocery store to grab a few items at approximately the same time as the shooting in Boulder, Colorado. I actually had just seen news of an “active shooter” in Colorado, but with no details. While in the grocery store, I found myself frustrated at the number of people not wearing masks, including employees. And FYI – wearing it on your chin does not qualify as wearing. I chose a specific checkout line because the first two I approached had people without masks. This pandemic has sadly unveiled a selfishness with deadly consequences. Much of this selfishness has been concealed by claims of personal or religious freedom, yet I think we need to listen to two people whose voices most Americans would claim as important. The Apostle Paul wanted his fellow Jesus Followers to act with, among other things, kindness and compassion to the point that these attributes were as visible as an outer garment. The second person was Thomas Jefferson who, according to Garry Wills (‘Inventing America,’ 1978), believed that when Jefferson wrote about pursuing happiness “he had nothing vague or private in mind. He meant public happiness.” I am not making any sort of specific correlation between mask wearing and the shooting in Boulder. With that said, tangible acts of kindness and compassion seem more difficult to find these days. And as Jesus taught, the cycle of violence does not usually begin with a major act, but with demonstrations of selfishness that suggest “I am more important than you.” The cycle is broken with acts of selflessness, including self-giving love for all people.
Prayer: Let my decision-making be driven, not by what I like or want, but what is needed by the larger community that you love, O Lord. May I continue to accept the small inconvenience of wearing a mask while also pursuing some real acts of sacrifice for those you have called me to love. Amen.
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Rev. Bruce Frogge