While I appreciate the concerns being expressed as we as a province and nation try to find the balance between protecting the health of our citizens and providing for our economic stability, I have to confess those images and statements that put individual choice above the well-being of others are to me disturbing. I see the signs, 'my body, my choice'; I hear the comments, 'I have a right to work' or what I would consider a careless and reckless statement that 'I'm not afraid of the virus', and I want to shout, 'it's not just about you'! We as citizens of this province and as Canadians, have a responsibility to one another.
Certainly this is a core value of the Church, a value rooted in the Word of God. The Apostle Paul would write to the church in Philippi: Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. (Philippians 2:3-4) I may be feeling well, but I have a responsibility to you, the people of Valley and to my wife and the residents she serves at Sunnybank Centre, and to our communities -- a responsibility to abide by the directives in place and to exercise wisdom in the choices I make. James writes: Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. (James 3:13)
Like many of you, I long to gather to worship once again. As we discuss this as a Leadership Team and people, this value of being responsible in our choices is a critical factor in the decisions we make. Please pray for wisdom and guidance, that any decision to re-gather is balanced by care and concern and by good practices that protect one another.
Ambassador Matthew Rycroft in an address to the Untied Nations Security Council makes this observation: How a society treats its most vulnerable – whether children, the infirm or the elderly – is always the measure of its humanity. Even more so during instability and conflict. When a society begins to disregard the vulnerable and their rights, instability and conflict will only grow. Is it any wonder we are seeing greater levels of instability and conflict today?
May it be said of Valley and churches across our nation that we were of shining example of love and care during one of the darkest times in the history of our nation; that we looked to God for His protection and provision and that we loved one another deeply. My friends at Valley, as we continue to walk through this together, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)