Lection Connection

August 30, 2020: Holy and Humble Curiosity

From Paul Turley

In our story from Exodus this week, Moses has a unique encounter with the very essence and originating energy of the universe that we call God. He took from that encounter an experience of God active in and on human history and understood and trusted that he had a part to play in that action. It changed his life and the life of the Hebrew people.

In our story this week, all of humanity is having a unique encounter with the COVID-19 virus. While many of us are understanding our part in this story to be caring for others by doing all the things that health authorities are advising in order to keep ourselves and others as safe and healthy as we can, not everyone is taking the same message from our encounter.

According to the Pew Research Center, at least a quarter of adults in the United States believe that, “powerful people intentionally planned the COVID-19 outbreak,” with 5% saying it is definitely true and 20% saying it is probably true. For Americans with a high school diploma or less education, almost half believe the theory is probably or definitely true. 

Many surveys mark a steep decline in trust in traditional institutions from the time of Watergate and, in the last decade, in the United States at least, the percentage of Americans who say they “can trust the government always or most of the time” has been below 30% for at least a decade. For millennials, those between the ages of 18 to 29, only the military and scientists received majority support on the question of whom they trust to do the right thing most of the time.

While online speculation about whether Bill Gates created the virus so that he could implant a tracking device into everyone who receives the vaccine (that he has already developed and will profit from) or that the virus is a product of big pharma that will allow them to make millions from the vaccine that they will release when humanity is desperate enough to pay whatever they ask might seem like the harmless pursuit of people with too much imagination and time, these conspiracy theories could have deadly consequences.

A recent YouGov survey in Britain found that one in six UK respondents indicated that they “definitely” or “probably would not” get vaccinated if a coronavirus vaccine became available. A further sixth of respondents to the survey were unsure what they would do. This means up to a third of UK people could turn down a coronavirus vaccine when it becomes available. If this figure is the same or similar in other Western nations where anti-vax conspiracies circulate widely, the hoped-for vaccine may not spell the end of our COVID nightmare…

Explore…Exodus 3:1–15

  • In our text, Moses says, “I must turn aside and look…” What would it mean for you and your faith community to turn aside and look at what God is doing at this moment?
  • If you were to rewrite this encounter into contemporary language, who would replace Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob for your faith community?

Prayer…
God of great hope, help us discern truth from lies and give us the courage to live in truth. This is our prayer for ourselves and for all the world. Amen.

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