Friday Epistle for January 26, 2018

January 26th, 2018 by
Contagious
 
     Germs are a given. They’re floating in the air, resting on surfaces, in spaces both public and private; and even being ferried from place to place by us.
     Yuck. Anti-bacterial soap and hand sanitizer were created for just such occasions.
     Coughing, sneezing, rubbing our eyes, touching other people’s hands or food can spread those germs from place to person. And they could get sick.
Or not.
     Germs are a given. While we know more about germs now than ever before in the history of our human family, there is much that is still mysterious. Some are mild, some are vicious, some are bacteria, others are viruses, fungi or protazoa. (I looked that up.)
     Yuck. You may want to wash your hands after your read this because phones and computers can also carry germs for quite a while.
     The variables involved in who gets sick and who stays well are often not solely about the germs themselves, but about wider frontiers like contagion, resistance, and susceptibility.
      Any number of factors go into assessing how likely a particular person may be to coming down with a bug, being “under the weather,” suffering through the flu, or a “test-on-unknown-biology-facts-tomorrow” cough.
     The New Testament passages for Sunday have us consider Jesus’ arrival in the Capernaum synagogue in Mark 1, where he moves towards an “unclean spirit.”  We also follow St Paul in 1 Corinthians 8 through the logic of eating food that has been offered to the idols of false gods.
     In these two passages we see issues that are commonly asked about by Jesus’ friends. And, we have teaching that helps us acknowledge that while germs are a given, we may look at them through larger frontiers.
     Jesus is moving through this Epiphany season as one who is fearless in the face of darkness because he knows that light is good, and he is bringing it this week as we read of his first miracle in Mark’s gospel.
     Paul is moving through a catalog of questions from his Corinthian sons and daughters who want to know how the light of Christ relates to them in a very defiled world. Paul knows that the light is good, and so he brings it.
     We each have our own questions about faithful discipleship, confidence in witness, and wisdom in responding to the soul and social sickness around and within us and those we love.
     Ultimately, it’s not about the germs. They are a given. It’s more about contagion, resistance, and susceptibility.
See you Sunday,
Christopher+

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Christopher Caudle

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