If you do not carefully follow all the words of this law, which are written in this book, and do not revere this glorious and awesome name—the Lord your God — the Lord will send fearful plagues on you and your descendants, harsh and prolonged disasters, and severe and lingering illnesses. He will bring on you all the diseases of Egypt that you dreaded, and they will cling to you. The Lord will also bring on you every kind of sickness and disaster not recorded in this Book of the Law, until you are destroyed. You who were as numerous as the stars in the sky will be left but few in number, because you did not obey the Lord your God. Just as it pleased the Lord to make you prosper and increase in number, so it will please him to ruin and destroy you. You will be uprooted from the land you are entering to possess.
- Deuteronomy 28:58-63
Living in the northern USA where church and such are kind of optional, they take the summers off when it comes to Sunday school. After Labor Day, Sunday school is back in session. Last year we had to wear masks, but to be honest, late in the school year, my class determined that everyone had the shots so we removed our masks after we got into the Sunday school room. Shhhh! Don’t tell anybody!!
I could write a book about why I think that the Sunday school is cancelled for three months, but the point is that our church was afraid that the children would not leave their masks on last year. They had livestreaming or Zoom classes with the children during the Sunday school hour. This eliminated the parents from coming to church, and sadly, one family had a few children, and the parents taught an adult class, that had to be cancelled. It also led to parents with children not coming to church, in that Sunday school was over with fifteen minutes to pack into the car, drive to church, find a parking place, then run to the sanctuary. Nope, they stayed home and watched it on livestream, or not at all.
This school year, all ages are back attending Sunday school.
When I saw the Sunday school roster this year, I noticed that a couple who had children was scheduled to attend the class that I am teaching. I knew they were on vacation the first week. Then, the second week, they did not show up either. As we were preparing to leave, having gone to the early service, they showed up with their girls in tow. The younger one, four-years-old, could not handle the separation from her parents. They stayed with her in her Sunday school class.
I thought about the age and how old she was when the lockdown started. She was possibly two-years-old or a young three-year-old. She is suddenly confined to their home, not allowed to leave. She must wear a mask when around people and then roughly a year and a half later, the restrictions are largely lifted – some mask wearing, some fear, but outside, around those people that she was taught could kill her if they breathed in her direction.
For children of any age (even 40-, 50-, 60-something “children”), there has become a gap in our development. We have gone from everything is groovy…
Ah, Yes, Feeling Groovy. As sung by Simon and Garfunkel.
No, nothing is groovy anymore. I wrote not too long ago about “What Freedom?” We still wear masks in most places, and now they are about to start administering booster shots since the first shots might not be enough…
And yet, we read and hear all the reports about how children, no, everyone, needs to see other people’s faces. There is something calming about that. Even for those people who can process the information that with the shots, it is less likely for you to get sick and with the shots and getting sick, the disease is not nearly as bad as it was, seeing the masks puts you into the mode of “STRANGER DANGER.”
But what if that was the mode of your life when this started and now, with heightened fears, it is worse instead of growing out of it? When will stranger danger ever go away?
We are all going to die, and God knows the number of our days. If it is our time to go and we avoid the disease, there will be a truck with our name written on it or a heart attack. Act responsibly, but do not live in fear.
We need to focus on the only thing that is really important: loving and trusting Jesus. In time, the stranger danger will subside, but we need to be around other people, even wallflowers like me.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.