• sonnyholmes

Harriet and I were talking about the Covid-19 vaccines and discussing whether or not we would take them. We had read much of the hype about them and were undecided. An ad popped up on the TV screen that grabbed my attention. It promoted shopping locally. Somehow that made sense even in our vaccine debate.

Yes, we all know the decline in mom and pop retail locations in our vast global economy. Day by day local entrepreneurs close shop because they cannot compete with the big box companies. You ask, how in the world could a TV spot about retail marketing influence our vaccine decision? Simple. It reminded me that I didn't have to rely on the advice of Dr. Anthony Fauci (President Biden's chief medical advisor) or Dr. Vivek H. Murthy (Surgeon General of the United States) to evaluate the Covid-19 vaccine decision. No, I don't know them or much about them. Nor do I know the medical personnel at the Center for Disease Control, CNN, or the Cartoon Channel. Why should I let these unknowns counsel me about such personal matters?

After that commercial, I called my family doctor, made an appointment to see him, and asked his advice. You see, I do know him. He's monitored my Type 2 Diabetes for 18 years, coached me through extensive cancer surgery, chemotherapy, and all the other medical situations people my age experience. Now, he's not my only doctor. There's a urologist, oncologist, dermatologist, optometrist, ophthalmologist, audiologist, a wife, and the Great Physician upstairs. I chose my family doctor because I know him best. I've trusted his diagnostic abilities and treatment plans for a long time. So, I asked him whether or not we should take the Covid vaccines. He said there was much about the Corona virus and the vaccines we didn't know. Then he added that he didn't know any reason we should not receive the vaccine. We shopped locally.

The Apostle Paul strongly defended his ministry in the Second Epistle to the Corinthians. They had compared him to false apostles who taught faulty doctrine. He wrote, "Look at what is before your eyes" (2 Corinthians 10: 7, ESV). Under Divine guidance he advised them to pay attention to what is right before them. Now, that doesn't have anything to do with Covid-19 or our treatment of it. But, it does remind us to be alert to what is right in front of us. And, our answers about this Covid mystery might be closer than we think.

Ask your most trusted doctor. Shop locally.

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  • sonnyholmes

Our governing documents include terms like the common good and the general welfare to shape the ideals of "we the people" and democratic process. Yet, that new nation still permitted slavery, vast separation of the social classes, voting restrictions, and more. You see, the common good is elusive to us humans.

We're hot wired around self. Egocentric humans worship the unholy trinity of me, myself, and I above most other interests. Legislatures, government systems, and the legal community seek fairness, equality, and dignity in the human arena. Still, there are many barriers to creating a culture where the common good is the norm. And, most will agree that the road to what is best for everyone is beyond government, the niceties of human behavior, education, or our many desires to make thr ground level for everyone.

The common good is really a spiritual discipline. Scripture tracks a clear path to understanding where others fit into our lives.

You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

Mark 12: 31, ESV

Whatever you do for the least of these you do for me.

Matthew 25: 40, ESV

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Philippians 2: 4, ESV

Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.

1 Corinthians 10: 24, ESV

And, there are many others. It's true, where we place others in our priority system is the beginning point of achieving the common good. And, in this context, it was one of the final factors that drove Harriet and I to the vaccination site to receive the Covid-19 shots. Yes, we both had the Corona virus and we knew the debilitating symptoms. Doctors are still undecided about whether we can have second rounds of Covid-19 or whether or not the vaccines have an expirations date. But, we didn't want to transmit this virus to our family or friends. So, shot time.

Tomorrow I will discuss the final impetus that took us to the vaccine place. I call it Shop Local. Join me.


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  • sonnyholmes

Here's a Bible text that causes some confusion and trepidation in those who interpret it. Being subject to governmental authority raises many questions in a multi-layered government system like ours. At the time the Apostle Paul wrote his epistle to the Romans it was an oppressive, evil empire. He told them to be submissive to it.

Of course, Romans 13: 1-7 isn't about government. No where does the Apostle define good or bad government. The text of these verses is about God's faithfulness and our trust in him. Paul affirms that every existent ruling system functions because God has permitted it. Catch the drift of the text---

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval,4 for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer.5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience.6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing.7 Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.

Romans 13: 1-7, ESV

My problem in doing the right thing are the many human preferences that guide me. You know, being a conservative, evangelical Christian, a Republican to boot, means that I'm somewhat out of sorts when the electorate chooses the other aisle for national leadership. Dr. Anthony Fauci is the chief medical advisor to our current President, Mr. Biden. I don't know him or much about him. But he is a national spokesman and medical leader right now. Harriet and I decided to take the Covid-19 vaccines because Dr. Fauci, and the other leading medical officials of our nation recommended it. Based on Romans 13: 1-7, they are in their positions of leadership because God allowed it. For us, taking the vaccine was trusting God in the belief that these many government authorities are functioning for the common good.

You certainly may interpret these verses differently. But, for us, taking the vaccine was our response to God's ordering of things in 2021.

Tomorrow, let's talk about the common good. Blessings all.

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