May 19, 2020 - Unsettling

When I woke up this morning I reflected on the unsettling things I had observed on yesterday, May 18, 2020. I recently heard our County Executive, Angela Alsobrooks, extend the stay home mandate until June 1, 2020. I also heard her encourage the residents of Prince George's County to wear mask when going out into public, wear gloves and practice social distancing. I heard her make the above statements with a voice of urgency. Urgency because Prince George's County has the highest number of infections and highest number of deaths in the state of Maryland. Urgency avails also because nine people die a day in Prince George's County.

When I woke up this morning I attempted to find the best word to describe what I had witnessed on Monday, May 18, 2020. The word that entered my mind was "unsettling." Unsettling means to cause anxiety or uneasiness; disturbing. I became uneasy and disturbed when I stopped by a tire store on 301 in Brandywine to check the air in two tires that I dropped off. As I asked the two business employees to check and repair the tires, I stood at a distance of about 20 feet. I spent the entire time of repair in my vehicle. What was unsettling was to see the two men perform their duties with no masks. What became more disturbing was the fact that customers entered the work area without a mask, no gloves and they were all up in each other's face. One gentleman even entered the establishment with a mask around his neck, but not over his mouth and nose. This negligent behavior included adult males and females. As I sat in my vehicle with my mask and gloves on, covered up like a cold day in January, I just could not believe my eyes. For one second I thought maybe I was being too cautious. That thought lasted for no more than one second. 

My point for today is to admonish everyone to take covid-19 serious. Let's not take chances when we know that this is a deadly pandemic and the death rate increases every day. 

Even more unsettling was an associate who entered the driveway to our home, of course keeping his distance. He suggested that the covid-19 was not as serious as people had made it out to be. He left me almost speechless. When I got my thoughts together, I said to the gentleman, "Do you realize over 85,000 people as of today have died in America from the corona virus?" He even went further to say, "Now that some restrictions have been lifted and people can go out to public places, they now realize it is not as bad as it was thought to be." I almost passed out thinking someone could be so ignorant. I dismissed myself from the conversation and dismissed him to return to this home.

It is unsettling to know that we live in a democracy, but if you speak against certain leaders, you are thrown under the bus or dismissed from your employment. It is unsettling to have leaders not practice what they preach. It is unsettling to hear people lie without blinking and eye. It is unsettling to know that experts and scientists can be hushed when they tell the truths about our future.

Well, I thought about the Israelites throughout the Old Testament. They constantly ignored God even when they were warned over and over again for their disobedience and sins. As we have studied Ezekiel in Bible Study, I turn your attention to Ezekiel 22:17-22: "Then this message came to me from the Lord. Son of man the people of Israel are the worthless slag that remains after silver is melted. They are the dross that is leftover-a useless mixture of copper, tin, iron and lead. So tell them, "This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because you are all worthless slag, I will bring you to my crucible in Jerusalem. Just as cooper, iron, lead, and tin are melted down in a furnace, I will melt you down in the heath of my fury. I will gather you together and blow the fire of my anger upon you, and you will melt like silver in fierce heat. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have poured out my fury on you."

We find that God is angry with the sinners in Jerusalem. They are his chosen people, but they have repeatedly defied him, disobeyed his laws and ignored his warnings. The purpose of the invasion of Jerusalem was to refine the people, but the refining process failed.

Like the Israelites, we are a defiant and hard headed people. The warning today is to please remain safe, wear your mask, stay home and practice social distancing. It could save your life. We know what happened to Jerusalem. 

Not a sermon, just a message.                                 

Robert E. Slade, Pastor