Second Friday of Advent (Year B)

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Habakkuk 3:2-6 | Psalm 126 | Philippians 3:12-16

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Advent Meditation by Rachel Kuhns

“Before him went pestilence, and plague followed close behind.”

When I read this verse from Habakkuk Chapter 3, the first thing I thought of was, you guessed, it, COVID-19.  It has literally and figuratively been hanging around us for over eight months- the invisible threat, the terrible menace that has made so many suffer and has caused so many to lose their lives. It looms over us and is at the back of our minds at all times.

I am fortunate to work for one of the companies developing a vaccine and recently, we’ve received good news about efficacy rates from the clinical trials.  Now, we are waiting for the FDA’s approval for emergency use authorization, and hope to be able to deliver the first batches in the next few weeks.  Although I am not one of the people on the front lines or one of the folks in the labs who are doing this groundbreaking work, in my role I am able to support these activities and help move them along as quickly as possible.  As I read Psalm 126, I imagine the whole world rejoicing when the vaccine is finally available and can be administered to everyone- “Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy”.  I see parades and people celebrating, and saying “thank GOD!”

Our goal is not just the safe and effective vaccination of billions of people across the globe.  We can’t just relax and “call it a day” once things return to some sense of normalcy.   We “press on toward the goal” every day, by wearing masks, by keeping our distance, being courteous and caring toward not just to those who are close to us, but to our neighbors and strangers we encounter on the street.  Philippians 3:12 says: “Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.”

I am optimistic that one day in the near future COVID will not dictate everything that we do or don’t do.  I hope that we learn from these dark times and keep on pressing toward our goal.  Our work will not be done when we are safely protected from COVID-19- our work continues in every aspect of our lives, to strive to hear the call of God in everything we do.

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