Savior of the Nations, Come: December 3, 2021

Savior of the Nations, Come: The Advent 2021 Devotional Book for St. Paul's Episcopal Church

“Turn, O Lord, save my life; deliver me for the sake of your steadfast love.” -Psalm 6:4 (NRSV)

I cannot accurately describe the fear that has existed in me regarding the possibility of getting COVID. Having had respiratory problems from a young age and being asthmatic, the idea of a deadly disease that attacks the lungs is terrifying. My parents have been present with me in the emergency room and hospital through asthma exacerbation and pneumonia, so they share that fear. Add in my son Daniel who has spent time in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) on a ventilator with a mysterious respiratory disorder, and you have a perfect storm. Daniel did school by remote learning for a year (which was a horrible but necessary option), I worked only online for 18 months, and the family did not leave the house except for grocery shopping and medical appointments.

What is saving me right now quite literally as I sit at home on a Sunday morning with asthma exacerbation, is the availability of vaccines against COVID. They are not perfect and there are indeed breakthrough COVID cases, but it means that people like me will likely just have cold symptoms instead of ending up on ventilators. The world came together to fund the research for the vaccines, scientists were able to draw on research into other viruses and vaccines for those, and the FDA cut the red tape in the process to get the vaccines approved. The ingenuity of researchers astonishes me as the use of mRNA is quite novel, and we are finding that it does indeed work well in telling the body how to build the spike protein on the outside of the coronavirus so that it knows to destroy it. Praise God for the ways in which scientists can work in changing situations.

Lord, you are the Great Physician and the Healer of our Souls. Thank you for the inspiration You give to scientists and the incredible ways the human body works. Help us to make ethical decisions as we pursue treatments like this and continue to enlighten and inspire researchers as they explore the ways Your creation works. Amen.
-Jen McCabe