To Vaccinate or not to Vaccinate?

If Shakespeare were writing in 2021, maybe his famous line would read: “To Vaccinate or not to Vaccinate?  That is the question.”

I have friends (people I love and care about) who have said, “I can’t wait to roll up my sleeve.” I have other friends (people I love and care about) who have said, “I’m going to wait. I’m going to see how this plays out. I’m in no hurry.”

People ask me my opinion on vaccinations. “Pastor, should I get the vaccine?” I get asked this a few times a week (PLEASE NOTE: I do not have a medical degree or a degree in immunology, I was a psychology major who went on to get a Master of Divinity degree). 

I have searched the scriptures (not medical journals). The only thing being shot in the Bible are arrows. The only needles are the ones “rich people can’t go through the eye of” according to Jesus.  The Bible doesn’t mention Covid, worldwide pandemics or anything close to what we are experiencing. So which is it?  To vaccinate or not to vaccinate?

Like in all things medical, you need to talk to your doctor. Again, that’s not me. Although I have a dear friend, going through cancer treatments, who frequently refers to me as “Dr. Rob” and, just as frequently, she calls her oncologist “Pastor So and So.” Neither of us mind the mix up, but no one should expect me to give medical advice, and I don’t think her Hindu doctor is going to be preaching in a Christian church anytime soon. 

I’ve been vaccinated. All pastors in Genesee County are eligible. The county health department has deemed pastors as essential workers (duh!). Many (not all) of the Central Church pastors have received their first injection. Hopefully this will allow us to get back in hospitals and nursing homes to pray with folks. Hopefully, it will allow us to minister and shepherd our flock the only way I know how to do it: Loving God and Loving people. 

I look forward to the day when all people will feel comfortable coming back to church. I can’t wait. There are some of our folks who are in the super high risk category that have legitimately stayed away, watched on-line, faithfully sent in their tithe and have tried hard to stay engaged. Oh how I love and miss these people. Even before Covid, I was not a hugger. I’m more of a slap-you-on-the-backer. But I’ll be tempted to give hugs– of the big bear variety—when I see them again. Face to face. Moreover, I can’t wait to hear a church full of people singing the praises of Jesus once again. I can’t wait for folks to invite their friends to church and see those friends become fully devoted followers of Jesus. I just can’t wait.

I’m not sure when/if you should get vaccinated. That’s between you and your doctor. As your pastor, I can’t wait to see your smiling faces.  Until then, Grace and Peace, my friends, Grace and Peace!

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