Daily Lectionary Readings for Year B
On a recent day I prepared to head out for a walk in the park. I always prefer to be overdressed rather than underdressed when it comes to the weather. It was chilly on this particular day. Not freezing, and not snowy. We haven't had that kind of winter-like weather yet. But, it was cold. I got on my boots. I put on my fleece-lined jacket. I dug out my gloves. I slipped on my hat. And, I looped my face mask over each ear. I completed the outfit with a pair of sunglasses. I only needed to add the belt of truth around my waist and the breastplate of righteousness and I would have felt like I had been wearing the whole armor of God.
With a 12.6% positivity rate in our area, 12 new deaths, and the ICU's filling up quickly, our masks are essential parts of our armor these days. The vaccine will take time to distribute and take effect. A mask worn properly over the nose and mouth can do much to protect you and others from the virus. In March and April masks were a novelty. In the first weeks, I might have mistakenly tried to wear a child-sized mask over my very adult-sized nose. Now, you probably have masks that match your outfits. Wearing a mask is physically important. But wearing a mask is also spiritually essential. A mask reminds us that we are all vulnerable, that we are all connected, and that we all matter. Wearing our "armor" values life and the ways we share our living.
What kinds of precautions do you take to guard against the elements? What protects you from the things in this world that can do you harm? As you head out in the days to come, think about the Armor of God. You are loved by God. So is your neighbor. Give thanks for the ways God seeks to protect us and connect us.