Before COVID or pre-COVID are new terms that will be with us as we go forward. They are not the first terms to come about because of a large or traumatic event. Prior to September 11, 2001, 9-11 was only associated with the number you call in case of an emergency. Since then it has taken on a whole new meaning and probably always will. Events happen that change our lives and our lingo forever. COVID is one of those events.
Before COVID, if you wore a mask into a bank you would be asked to leave. Now if you don’t wear a mask into the bank you are asked to leave. The mask has become a symbol of the pandemic we are in the middle of, near the end of, or are maybe just at the beginning of. I personally have a half dozen different masks. Some that have been made for me by people I know, one I bought because it was a Whataburger mask, and others are more the surgical type masks. All in all, like it or not, the mask is here for a while and even become stylish for some.
What is interesting about the mask is that it does nothing for you. I remember when people first started wearing them. The discussion was why wear them, germs would only get on the outside then when you touched the mask with your hand, they were on your hand. Then over time the discussion, the reasoning for wearing them changed. It wasn’t for yourself but for others. So wearing them became a symbol of selflessness. Selflessness in our society, an interesting aspect of this piece of material with a sting or elastic band attached to it.
But before the mask, before COVID, isn’t that what a follower of Jesus was supposed to be-- selfless. Isn’t that what a true believer of Jesus would be doing anyway, putting themselves out? A lot of people are stepping up by wearing a mask for others, but as Christians we should have already been living this way, considering others above ourselves as we are told in Philippians 2:3?
In fact society has a lot of good suggestions on how to be a better person, but a lot of these ideas were covered in God’s Word long before they were painted on a sign and sold at Hobby Lobby. Expressions such as, “Choose Joy” are just a replica of scriptures like Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (I Thes 5:16-18) And you may see an inspiring t-shirt with the words “In a world where you can be anything, be kind.” Isn’t that taken from Ephesians 4:32 where we’re told, Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Even when society tries to encourage teamwork with sayings like, “No man is an island,” we see remnants of 2 Corinthians 13:11 Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.
So wear your mask out of concern for others, but one day when you get to lose the mask—keep the concern for one another.