Vaccination as a sacramental act

 


Dr. David C. McDuffie (Senior Lecturer, Department of Religious Studies, University of North Carolina at Greensboro – cf. his bio at https://rel.uncg.edu/faculty/mcduffie/) has written an excellent article on vaccination as a sacramental act. His article, “On Life, Grace, and Vaccines: A Sacramental Approach to Public Health,” is available on the website of the Berkley Center, Georgetown University.

One of Lent’s purposes is to remind Christians of their personal mortality. In this pandemic year, being reminded of one’s mortality may feel redundant. Another of Lent’s purposes is to remind Christians of their dependence upon God. And yet a third purpose of Lent is to remind Christians of our interconnectedness with one another and with creation.

Being vaccinated, when the vaccine is available and it is one’s turn, is an act of restorative justice, moving one toward being able to rejoin the larger community safely. Being vaccinated, when the vaccine is available and it is one’s turn, also is sacramental: the outward sign (vaccine) expresses an inner grace (care for one’s neighbor).

Allegations that vaccines are unsafe, include implantation of a microchip in the person receiving the vaccine and so forth are both rejections of science and lies, i.e., intentional efforts to deceive people into refusing to care for self, neighbor and creation. Christians have historically denounced such lies as the work of the devil, a symbolic means of underscoring just how pernicious such lies are.

For God's sake, for your neighbor’s sake and for your own sake, get vaccinated!

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