What I Read Today;
Romans 5; Matthew 5; Jeremiah 48; Psalm 126; 1 Samuel 22
Since the arrival of the first settlers in the United States, there have been several pandemics.
Among the most serious are:
- 1633-1634: Smallpox outbreak which killed nearly 2 million Native Americans
- 1793: Yellow fever outbreak in Philadelphia killing 5,000
- 1832-1866: Cholera came in three waves in the United States and while rare here in the states still kills 130,000 a year worldwide
- 1858: Scarlet fever outbreaks began coming in waves.
- 1906-1907: “Typhoid Mary” which killed over 20,000 people
- 1918: “Spanish flu” took the lives of nearly 700,000 people
- 1957: “Asian flu” took the lives of over 70,000 people
- 1921-1925: Diphtheria caused the deaths of over 15,000 people
- 1916-1955: Polio killed over 3,000 people until a vaccine was found
- 1981-1991: A second measles outbreak killed 10,000 annually
- 2020 – COVID 19 has killed over 50,000 in the United States to date
Many of these diseases disappeared due to improved water treatment, sewage disposal, and public health initiatives. Some, however, have to be cured by the creation of a vaccine. A vaccine is a means of providing our bodies with an immunity to a disease. Polio has been eradicated thanks to vaccinations. Measles and smallpox have largely disappeared. Annual flu shots help to reduce the threat of the yearly flu.
Amazingly, in recent years there have been movements to stop giving vaccines to our children. Several celebrities have attempted to use bad science to urge parents not to vaccinate. We’ve now seen a resurgence of measles in our children thanks to this bad advice.
As sad as the medical issues that I’ve talked about above are, each one of us is infected with a far worse disease. It’s the hereditary disease that has been passed on to each one of us from our original parents Adam and Eve. It’s a disease called sin. This disease has caused more pain and suffering than any other condition known to mankind.
Romans 5:12 tells us, “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death came through sin, and so death spread to all because all have sinned— sin was indeed in the world before the law, but sin is not reckoned when there is no law. Yet death exercised dominion from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sins were not like the transgression of Adam, who is a type of the one who was to come.” NRSV
Sin has caused all the evil in the world. Genocide, slavery, rape, murder are just a few of the symptoms of what we know as sin. We see the destructive nature of this pandemic every day. Drug abuse, Alchohol abuse, divorce, abuse, and anger are just a few of the symptoms.
Yet in Romans 5, we find that God has sent a vaccine for the sin that infects our lives.
Romans 5:18 says, “Therefore just as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all.” NRSV
Sadly, many will not take the vaccine that God has provided us. They will choose to live this life without accepting the life-giving message of Jesus Christ.
The moment a vaccine for COVID-19 becomes available many of us will rush out to take the vaccine.
At the same time, Church, we need to take the message of the gospel out to our communities. We need to tell everyone that there is a vaccine for our separation from God. There is a cure for our problem with sin and eternal death.
That cure is Jesus Christ.
Let’s get our vaccination kits out and spread the word!