From the Desk of Pastor Brian

“Life Isn’t Fair”

There are many in this country that feel wearing a mask “infringes” on their constitutional rights. Nowhere in the Bill of Rights is it mentioned that an elected or appointed official cannot create “mask mandates” to prevent a virus from spreading and killing others. Yet some claim “Mask Mandates” are a way to take away one’s human rights to make individual decisions in a country that was founded on the freedom to make individual choices. The “Mask Mandates” seem unfair, even if they are intended for the safety of self and others. Besides, they are uncomfortable and look funny. Here are some other mandates which at one time seemed unfair and maybe even silly:

  • Driving on the right side of the road
  • Take off belts and shoes, and place electronics in a special bin at the TSA after 9/11/2001
  • Leaving cell phones, tablets and laptops in one’s car before entering some courtrooms or courthouses
  • Don’t go to church on Sunday morning with pink eye or a fever
  • Use the Turn Signal in one’s vehicle to let people know which way you are turning – Turn Signals aren’t optional equipment.

This is just a small list of the things that are socially unacceptable but which most people comply to live peacefully with one another. Yet, we often complain about the fairness of the situation in this “Me First” society. There is a lot of misinformation being shared during this political season, but masks are not intended to political and instead encouraged for safety.  This pandemic has changed the way so many things are done, and change is something which human being’s rebel. It all seems so offensive to the human spirit.  Seatbelts are necessary for the safety of others, but people talked about them infringing on their right to choose between life and death when they first were required but now, they are second nature, for the most part.

In our Gospel for this Sunday written in Matthew 20:1-16, all the laborers hired to work in the vineyard were paid the same amount for their work no matter the time of day they started.  It certainly didn’t seem right or fair to those who had been working from the early morning. How would you feel? The first workers certainly had the right to complain about the “unfair action” of the owner of the vineyard. Yet each person received the pay promised to them and none were shorted for their work. The owner of the vineyard had the right to give all who worked for him for that day a day’s wage, especially considering these workers lived “hand to mouth.”

God bestows grace equally to all of God’s creation even if it doesn’t make sense or seem fair. Through the Love of God shown to us on the Cross of Christ, we are called to live together in community not just for our own rights but the rights of others. God is fair and just as God works in this world even if it is beyond our understanding. Wearing a mask for the safety of others during this pandemic isn’t too much to sacrifice for the sake of our brothers and sisters in this country and this world.

The Rev. Dr. Brian K. Oltman

Resurrection Lutheran Church – 1111 Fifth Street – Coronado, CA – www.rl.church