Faith – Covid-19 Vaccine: Step up and sleeve up

Reverend Blessing Shambare
St. Peter’s Ecumenical Church

Historical pandemics have caused enormous negative impacts on health, economies, social configurations, and global political instabilities. These outbreaks include: Spanish Flu, Hong Kong Flu, SARS, H7N9, Ebola, Zika, HIV and AIDS. These historical pandemics impacted society and its outlook. It has been a year since the novel corona virus (COVID-19) was publicly declared a pandemic (WHO 2019-2020). The people are affected, and the “mother” earth is infected. But one fact is real as put together by Paul in 11 Corinthians 1: 10; “He who rescued us from so deadly perils [pandemics and plagues] will continue to rescue us; on him we have set our hope that he will rescue us again…” The time has come for us to step up and sleeve up. The restrictions are difficult, but, we have seen light. Scientists have worked hard, and the vaccine is here.

Life has been lost and life continues to be lost. People are infected and people are fighting this virus. Friends, relatives, and family have been through this and their testimonies are painful to the marrow. It started as managing the curve, and statistical figures to many until it became apparent that it is not about that but life and livelihood. It is time we step up and sleeve up.

Every religion and culture upholds the value of healing illnesses, pandemics, and misfortunes. Healing is the ultimate recourse in circumstances that are hurtful and painful. Some cultures and religions do value the influences of tangible means of healing and others supernatural healing powers. The profession of physicians and healers has been in existence in time immemorial. Since creation in Genesis, there were plants for food and plants for medicinal purposes. To this day we thank God for the medicinal or herbal plants that are used to generate much (if not all) of the scientifically processed medicines. God through the prophet Jeremiah questioned about the balm plant of Gilead. “Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then has the health of my people not been restored?” Jeremiah 8:22. There is time for healing and restoration that comes through the balms and the physicians.

During the entire season of the pandemic, we have witnessed the resilience and dedication of healthcare professionals and personnel. We acknowledged the prayers by the faithful people for restoration and healing. Indeed, the time to believe and step up is here.

History has taught us that when citizens step up and sleeve up transformation is achieved. It must be a movement! Step up and sleeve up healing and restoration is here. #sleeveup. Governments and our local leaders should know that citizens have their sleeves up ready for the jab. Indeed #stepup and #sleeveup for restoration!

The young Amanda Gorman (Jan 20, 2021) stepped up to the podium and took the moment of the U.S. Presidential inauguration ceremony with a beauty craft of words “The Hill we Climb” poem. Opening with a question to challenge “When the day comes we ask ourselves where can we find light in the never-ending shade?” The poem ended with an instructive challenge that seems to respond to the opening question; “The new dawn blooms as we free it. For there is always light if only we are brave enough to see it. If only we are brave enough to be it!” We can only “be it” when we brave to believe and to sleeve up. “Pursue that which makes up for peace [and life]” Romans 14:19.

If you believe in life. If you believe in healing and restoration, then believe in sleeving up. If you are positive and determined about life. Positive about restoration, then be positive about sleeving up. The loudest voices should be on stepping up and sleeving up. The onus is on every individual, community, faith, religion, culture, tradition, colour, race, political, and social ideologists to preserve life. If all can step up and sleeve up restoration is here. Step up, individuals. Sleeve up communities. Step up, faith people. Sleeve up, religious people. Step up culture. Ste up traditionalists.

May the God of hope fill [us] with all joy and peace in believing, so that [we] may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” Romans 15:5-6; 13

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