“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:4).
This verse kept popping in my mind last week, as I called upon several women who support getting the vaccine, to join hands with a few who object it. Together we met for a unique zoom meeting. I wanted us to somehow stay in our different opinions and the pain each side inflicts on the other, take these differences into account, and yet together enter into a joint place at the feet of the cross. I did not want us to ignore each side’s woundedness, just not to focus on it, and altogether remember that there is a Deeper Wound that we must lift our eyes up to.
The guideline was: His Blood was poured and His Body broken for both camps just the same. And who am I to judge someone else’s servant? (I know this is a wild paraphrase of Romans 14:4; yet it’s interesting to read that chapter in the context of vaccines).
We started the meeting with breaking bread together. Then – while we were still facing God and acknowledging the price He paid – we shared with each other what the Blood of Yehua means for each of us. Some asked forgiveness or chose to forgive. Since we started taking communion but had not finished it until the very end, the entire meeting was held with each of us acutely aware that we are found within His wound. And so, instead of focusing on what the other side is doing and the damage it causes the other camp, we were able to focus for awhile on what He has done for both sides together.
Only after about an hour we ended the meeting by taking the wine together as well and sealing what we started.
A Dividing Factor
We are now on the first day of Rosh Hashana. In Modern Judaism, it is one of the two most important familial events of the year. Families gather together around a well prepared table, pronounce blessings, give gifts, enjoy one another. Yet, I know of a few families that are divided this year by the issue of vaccines, and I am sure there are many more.
The medical treatment that was designed to ensure the safety of those at risk and put an end to a pandemic, has become a point of contention and possible division. The entire issue of vaccine has an aspect that we can easily ignore. We are all so concerned with its medical and physical aspect, that we don’t realize it has become a vehicle of division, that undermines people’s sense of safety with one another! It divides congregations, even families. And so, that which is meant to keep, protect and heal – turns into a deep wound instead.
Are You Facing Something Similar?
Does the issue of vaccine undermine significant relationships in your life? Does it cause you to lose some that are near and dear to your heart?
If so, please remember that there is a choice you can make. Cooperating with the dividing flow is not the only option! It is so easy to get offended, isolate ourselves, and sever ties with those who think differently, who even disagree with us strongly. But if we go that route, that would mean we have succumbed to fear, instead of extending the only kind of love that can deal with any level of that fear.
If your relatives and loved ones that oppose you are followers of Yeshua, would you please decide to stop focusing on yours, and invite them into His wound? It’s a safe place to meet at.
If they do not know Him yet, look for ways to wash their feet. Use this unique opportunity to remove your outer garment and any inch of pride or rejection that might be motivating you, and look for a lower path to reach out. Don’t let this plague rob you even more. Yeshua did it on the very night He was about to be betrayed (John 13). His way of preparing Himself for the ultimate betrayal did not go through alienation, arguing, pulling away, staying safe. On the contrary, He humbled Himself even more (v. 4-5), removed any outer layer, and dealt with the dust and stench of His loved ones’ feet.
Alpha, Beta… Delta… Omega
Yeshua, I am not sure I can go that low when it feels that people might be even willing to betray one another in the name of safety and health. I don’t have it in me at all. So in the midst of this chaos, I choose to place my feet, my dusty and smelly and earthly feet, on You – solid Rock, my firm foundation.
The enemy uses new tactics each time he tries to assault us humans. But the fear, sickness and dissention he had spread with the beta, gamma and now delta variants of Covid, do not change anything for You. You have no variants. You do not evolve, nor retreat. You are always and forever both Alfa and Omega – and everything in between.
You are the one who began everything, and You are also the one who will bring it unto completion. You know all the variations along the way, and You have provided all that is needed to treat each one. You don’t assemble Your Health Committee to start developing a new solution each time a new disease comes upon us. Your once-and-for-all solution has been manufactured in Your “lab” from before the foundation of the world, and it is still available to everyone – over the counter. And for free!
“From altar to throne”
By SigneSandelin, DevianArt
I choose to lift my eyes off the numbers that the media broadcasts. I lift it higher and even higher, and look at Your head. It does not display spikes that must be eliminated. Just the opposite! Your head is adorned at times with a crown of thorns, and at times with a royal diadem. I am lifting my eyes to what the crown of thorns has achieved, and to the Kingdom You are establishing here on earth. And I am asking on behalf of all Your Body members worldwide: help us set our gaze on these two crowns – on what You have begun, and what You have already finished.