CHURCHTALK: God and the Covid-19 vaccine

Friday 21 May 2021 | Written by Supplied | Published in Church Talk

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CHURCHTALK: God and the Covid-19 vaccine
The volunteers helping with the Pfizer vaccine rollout at the Rarotonga Hospital. 21051810

If your hesitancy toward the vaccine is because you believe it reflects of lack of trust in God for protection, then I hope this article gives you a liberating perspective, writes Pastor Paul Kauri of the ArePua Gateway Church.

This week we have seen in our beautiful nation two key developments take place.

Firstly, the first plane arrived on Monday, May 17, in our travel free bubble with Aotearoa, loaded with tourist!s Celebrating with caution.

Secondly the vaccination rollout plan by our Government.

I was asked the question from one of our parishioners, what my thoughts were regarding this Covid-19 vaccination programme. I assume his real question was, do I think we should receive the vaccine or not?

I thought I would use this week’s Church Talk to answer his question, which may be the same question, for others.

Before I respond to his question, I do want to make clear the intention of this article is not to convince or coheres any to vaccinate or not. It is my desire to give a perspective for people in their decision-making process. While I do share the decision my wife and I have made, the intention is to reveal the freedom we had in our choice. May the Peace of Christ lead you in your decision.

Many faithful followers of Christ will be familiar with Psalm 91, it provides great comfort in these times especially verses 3 and 6. It reads as follows:

Psalm 91

1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.[a]

2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

3 Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.

4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

5 You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day,

6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.

Before our family we would take long trips in New Zealand, we would always pray asking God to protect us in our travels. Our prayer reflected our trust in God to protect us, while we were travelling in our family van, our trust in God did not stop us from using the van to travel. (Like, how else were we to get to our destination?). As a family you may have done the same when travelling overseas in a plane.

In recent years I was faced with a very real decision when I was diagnosed with acute myeloma leukemia in 2017. The question was, “do I go through with the chemotherapy course or say ‘NO’ to chemo and trust in God for the healing?”.

When I settle on the truth that God was with me and for me, the question of, ‘to chemo or not to chemo’ became secondary. It was no longer a case of, “either - or” (either chemo or God’s healing). Instead, it became a liberating truth of, ‘both – and’ – both chemo and trusting God, like driving the van and trusting God!

I reckoned that; God … plus man’s medicine would get me out of hospital quickly and back into Rarotonga to carry on His great work!

We spent seven months in hospital, nine months in New Zealand before returning back to a very warm ‘welcome home’ from our church in Takuvaine.

Every day in that hospital we stood and declared the word of God, whilst undergoing the chemotherapy course – it was prayer and chemo. So, while I took the drugs of chemo, my faith was in God and His power and promise, along with man’s efforts to rid my body of this disease.

Psalm 91 has been the prayer of many over the years. When we led a church in NZ, we prayed Psalm 91 for our men who were in Afghanistan (a few of them from our church). I can assure you that these men totally relied on God’s protection. But they were also fully equipped with the necessary protective armor and fire power to protect themselves and those they were helping.

So, my response to the young man who asked this question would be this;

If your hesitancy toward the vaccine is because you believe it reflects of lack of trust in God for protection, then I hope this article gives you a liberating perspective.

If your hesitancy comes from the many conspiracy theories around Covid and this vaccine, then you may need to settle on who you choose to listen to, choose wisely.

As for myself and my wife we choose ‘both – and’ God and the vaccine.

God is our Ultimate Protector. We have always found rest and refuge in Christ, he saved me from a deadly disease, and because I know Him and He knows me, we are fully at peace in knowing that, having the vaccine does not mean that I am no longer ‘Under the Shelter of The Most High’.

May you find peace in your decision. Amen.