When being contagious is a good thing

Published 10:41 am Wednesday, February 27, 2019

It’s sort of weird, and kind of funny, but for the person wearing it — it’s serious business. What am I talking about? Medical masks that people wear out in public to try and protect themselves from the germs of others. Around this time of year, we are all doing our best to try and stay well. We use gels and sprays and wipes — whatever will kill 99.9 percent of what might make us sick. We don’t want to be in proximity to anyone who might be contagious!

Contagious means to spread something to others that might have an effect on them. And while we don’t want to ever “give them something” that could make them sick, I think God does want us to be contagious. To offer the world something that it sorely lacks. To be contagious in spreading the amazing grace and love of God.

When germs get spread, it normally happens due to being in close, intimate proximity to someone else. We need to get close to others, build relationships, showing that we care, in order to spread God’s love to someone else.

Germs also get spread when we follow behind where someone else has been and touch something they touched before us. In order to spread God’s love to others, we need to be able to walk where they have walked, be able to empathize with their experiences, or in other words, be willing to “put ourselves in their shoes.”

Finally, for any of this to happen, the germs have to go from being on the outside of us, to the inside of us to affect us or make us sick in any way. For us to be contagious and spread the love of God to the world, we can’t just love on the surface, it has to come from the inside. It has to come from the heart. It has to come from the One who lives and reigns in our lives. The One who was sent here as God’s deepest and most valuable expression of love that ever existed. He was so infectious and contagious that his love changed the world forever. That same infection lives in each of us who call ourselves followers of Jesus. Be contagious — love one another.

Tim Beck is pastor of Kenbridge United Methodist Church. His email address is revtimbeck@ gmail.com.