Immune

These days many of us are of differing opinions about vaccines, but most of us agree on at least some of them. As I read schedules for boosters, I reach back to a message I have shared before, and from where I now stand, it bears repeating.

I remember the drill. Wake the children, get them washed, dressed, and fed, and buckle them into the car. Drive to the clinic and wrestle them out of the car while they wail about another shot, and I mumble promises of ice-cream cones or big cookies. We get into the waiting area and join the chorus of children singing the high-pitched “another shot” wail, and moms (with an occasional dad) chanting the bass “ice cream cone/big cookie” augment.

In the office we wrangle the child into a modified basket hold while a nurse gently administers a pre-measured dose of vaccine that will protect the child from a raging illness. Or, from the child’s point of view, we hold them down heartlessly while a woman who used to be a line-backer runs across the room with a hollowed-out spear and stabs them, after which she pumps a gallon of germs into their poor little muscle. We coo “It wasn’t that bad, was it, Honey?” while the child’s brain’s inhibition center works overtime to prevent the rapid audible release of every known disallowed expletive.

All this so the child will not get sick. Sometimes I think the spots and fevers would have been easier on the nerves, but I weighed the risks and made the call. I stand by my decision. They all survived, not much worse for wear.

The stuff in the needle is a weakened or dead form of the illness we are trying to prevent. It introduces just enough of the agent into the system to provoke an immune response, and our natural defenses do the rest. What a great idea!

Unless, that is, the process is misapplied to prevent a desired infection. Suppose we allow ourselves or our children to be exposed to some weakened or dead form of Christianity that does nothing but provoke an immune response to the transforming work of Jesus. What if we hear and teach just enough to lead the listener to believe that Christianity is a powerless form – a dead set of rituals and spiritual disciplines, devoid of any actual supernatural energy?

Keep your spiritual vaccinations away from me and my family! I want a raging case of Christianity that rattles my body and mind to its core and changes everything about me. I want a burning desire to share the Gospel so compelling that it moves me so far out of my comfort zone that I must change zip-codes. I want a face-to-face encounter with the living Christ that ends with us walking side by side so close that our shoulders touch. There is not an ice-cream cone or cookie in the world that will tempt me to sit still to be vaccinated against that.

Give me the living Word that works its way through my system and into the world around me. Make me contagious. I want to be deeply infected and a life-long carrier.

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

James 1:22

5 thoughts on “Immune

  1. I wish WordPress had a “Man, I really loved this!” button. So, “like” it is. And it appears that too many have been vaccinated against the Whole Gospel! Glad to see you haven’t been vaccinated!

    Liked by 2 people

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