Pastoral Reflection, The First Week of Advent, the 37th Week of Official Pandemic Status – December 4, 2020

It’s finally coming. We’ve waited in all this uncertainty, and now it’s nearly here. A vaccine for the virus of course. For some it’s the best news possible. Life can begin again.
But are we ready? There’s been some murmuring about the rapid pace of the research and laboratory work. Thank God for the scientists! But is it safe? Polls suggest that while many people are elated and more than ready to get the vaccine, others are fearful. Can we trust our leaders on this? Who will go first?
This will be a deeply personal decision of course. Almost nothing is risk-free in this complicated world. But a course of action must be taken by each of us. Even to not take the vaccine is an action that will have consequences for public health in the battle to quell the virus. (Though, some people won’t have a choice about it – those who have conditions that make it unsafe for them to be vaccinated.)
In a way, our present situation has a parallel in the birth of Jesus. God was coming with new life and salvation for the world, but was the world ready? Would people show up for this good news? Would they trust God? 
Think about how Mary must have felt when that unexpected angel arrived with the news that she was going to bear the child of God. Was she ready? Pregnancy can be risky. And what Joseph? What would he decide to do about this situation? There would be social consequences no matter what he did.
God be with us all as we, too, wait in hope for new life, for a new world to come upon us.
Advent blessings,
Pr. Beth

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