Larry Dozier 

We’ve hit a most gloomy milestone in America: more than 12 million individuals have been infected with Covid-19 and 250,000 plus of our fellow Americans have been killed by this deadly virus. These numbers are growing exponentially, right now and should we not heed the advice of the experts to ‘stay home for the holidays,’ these numbers will continue to increase … exponentially.

The Bible tells us to “Love our neighbor as ourselves.” (Mark 12:31). This means that we ought to protect our neighbor as we protect ourselves. By wearing masks in public, practicing social distancing, and staying home for the holidays, we are protecting our neighbors as well as ourselves. This is Biblical love.

As children of God, we are to become living sacrifices, that is, sacrificing ourselves for the sake of our brothers and sisters. This is how we obey God, that is, by serving our brothers and sisters. This is what Jesus would do.

He demonstrated this at Calvary. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for a friend (John 15:13). He made the ultimate sacrifice so that we might live. We are to make sacrifices for each other.

While wearing masks, etc., and staying home for the holidays is a far cry from laying down our lives, it can be a most genuine act of love, that perhaps, could save the lives of many … maybe your loved one, maybe yours.

Also, I believe that if we sacrifice now, by next Thanksgiving, this will all be behind us. Then, we can look back, thank God for where He brought us from, what He brought us through, and then enjoy a big, tender, Butterball Turkey (or Honey Baked) with all the fixings … with our family and friends … no masks, no social distancing, no nothing … just celebrating and really appreciating just being together. Think about that!

Further, for those of us who are children of God, the sound of our Father’s voice saying, “Well done my good and faithful servant …” is the ultimate incentive.

I wish you love, peace and blessings.

Larry Dozier is a certified lay minister in the United Methodist Church. He currently serves as vice president of the United Methodist Men for the Western Jurisdiction, the president of United Methodist Men at Hollypark United Methodist Church in Gardena, and is a retired pastor of St. John’s United Methodist Church in Los Angeles.

Dozier retired from the United States Postal Service where he served as the spokesperson for the organization in the Los Angeles Basin.