In this blog series, Pastor Kevin Dixon shares his memories and lessons learned from growing up in Minnesota where winters are long and sometimes severe. So many of those life lessons are relevant to the Covid-19 crisis and “Safe at Home” way in which we find ourselves living now. This entry is the fourth in our series.

Sometimes a mask is necessary.

These days, I am having flashbacks to my Minnesota childhood. If you were going to be outside for long in the winter there, protective face wear was a necessity. People used scarfs, hats with holes cut in them, very large turtle neck sweaters and parka hoods that zipped all the way up so that only their eyes were visible. 

I used to wear a face mask all the time and never gave it a second thought. It only made sense to protect yourself. No one else gave face masks a second look, either–except maybe in summer. Then, it would have meant someone was going to hold up a liquor store.

Things have changed: We are going to be wearing face masks now for a different reason. 

This is different than staying warm. This is loving your neighbor. An opportunity is about to present itself to all Christians everywhere in the world: You could call it our Good Samaritan moment for the church.

Right before Jesus told the parable of the Good Samaritan he was questioned by an “expert” in the law who asked, “how do you read it”? 

Luke 10:27 tells us that Jesus answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’.

This was the right answer. Love God. Love people. How hard could that be? 

As we enter into the next phases of this COVID-19 season, wearing a face mask will be the loving thing to do. I grew up wearing a mask to protect myself from the bitter cold. In the Tennessee summer, it will be a way to protect my neighbor—to keep from spreading a virus that can potentially have deadly ramifications. 

Loving well in this season may make us look like a medical worker or like we are going to rob a liquor store. But, let’s be the neighbors that practice our calling.

Kevin Dixon is the Executive Pastor at Journey Church in Brentwood, TN. He is a graduate of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield IL.

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