Some Christian considerations on the COVID-19 vaccine. Talk delivered 07 February 2021 to Petaling Jaya Evangelical Free Church (PJEFC), Malaysia
Martha, Martha! You are anxious and troubled about many things; one thing is needful. (Luke 10:41-42 RSV)We think there are a thousand things we should be concerned with, but there is actually only one. If we take care of that one thing, all the others will find themselves done. And if we fail to take care of the one thing that is needful, all the others—no matter how successfully we may seem to do them—will fall into ruin. So why are we so torn between matters of the heart and our worldly cares?From this day forward I resolve to give my total attention to the only thing on earth I ought to be concerned with. Illumined by God’s holy light, I resolve to stop worrying and to do every moment, with all the strength of my mind and body, whatever God in his providence places in my path. I will not be grieved about turning everything else over to God, because it is not my work I am doing, but God’s. And I ought to want to do only what God gives me to do.I resolve not to become keenly excited about anything, because it is dangerous to want to appropriate God’s work to ourselves. If we do that, then we do God’s work in own strength; we turn good into bad and we allow pride to take over. And then we become flushed with the pursuit of success. We concealed our illusion by using the pretext of seeking God’s glory.
O God, give me the grace to be faithful in my actions, but indifferent to success. The only thing I ought to be concerned with is to desire your will and to quietly meditate on you – even in the midst of busy times. It is up to you to crown my feeble actions with such fruit as is pleasing to you—and none at all, if that is what you find best for me.
I have come to believe that the true mystics of the quotidian are not those who contemplate holiness in isolation, reaching godlike illumination in serene silence, but those who manage to find God in a life filled with noise, the demands of other people and relentless daily duties that can consume the self. They may be young parents juggling child-rearing and making a living…[I]f they are wise, they treasure the rare moments of solitude and silence that come their way, and use them not to escape, to distract themselves with television and the like. Instead, they listen for a sign of God’s presence and they open their hearts toward prayer.
Kathleen Norris (1998), The Quotidian Mysteries (New York, NY: Paulist, 1, 70)
I find this comment by Dallas Willard on his homepage of his website very relevant.
My sense of ministry is to judge the lay of the land for your times and shoot where the enemy is. The enemy in our time is not human capacity, or over activism, but the enemy is passivity – the idea that God has done everything and you are essentially left to be a consumer of the grace of God, so the only thing you have to do is find out how to do that and do it regularly. I think this is a terrible mistake and accounts for the withdrawal of active Christians from so many areas of life where they should be present. It also accounts for the lack of spiritual growth, for you can be sure that if you do not act in an advised fashion consistently and resolutely you will not grow spiritually.
There is a great collection of his articles and recordings on Dallas Willard’s website