AMY BUTLER* reflects on a different ‘jab’.
In the 1970s a funk fusion band called the Tower of Power released a song called Soul Vaccination. It’s a much ado about nothing song. Its purpose is not in lyrical profundity, rather it executes the funky-soul sound which characterised the band.
This may seem like an obscure entry into the topic I’m about to discuss, but there have been several times over the last 12 months when this song has popped into my head. ‘Soul Vaccination, all across the nation …’
We’ve pinned our hopes from an early stage in the pandemic on the idea of a vaccination program, being rolled out not only across a nation, but globally. For a much deeper scientific and theological exploration of the idea of vaccinations, please read our series here https://gsandc.org.au/vaccinations-the-big-questions/.
It got me thinking. A vaccination for coronavirus, allowing us to get back to normal and uninhibited lives, is a welcome thing. However, there is a much better vaccination, a ‘soul vaccination’ that is already freely available to us all.
This vaccination might not protect us from coronavirus, or any other sickness for that matter. It certainly won’t protect us from suffering. And unless Jesus returns first, we will still physically die.
No, this soul vaccination may not stop us from facing physical death, but it will ensure that when we reach the other side of this life, we will have life eternal. I am of course talking about the glorious gospel of our Lord Jesus.
We’ve grown to understand that when we receive a vaccination, it teaches our body to recognise the unwanted ‘enemy’ virus and to mobilise our immune system to defend against the attack. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, he arms us with the weapons of war needed to withstand the attacks by the evil one which will surely ensue.
As the efficacy and longevity of the current coronavirus vaccination program is called into question, I think about the Old Temple sacrifice which had to be repeated year after year after year – annual flu shot anyone? But this ‘soul vaccination’ is a once for all time inoculation against the power of sin and death. If we continue in the faith, sin has no power over us and the fear of death is gone.
No analogy is perfect. One caution I would offer is this: In the same way we might place a dead virus into a body in order that the body might reject the live virus if detected, as Christians, we don’t want to offer a kind of lifeless religion to our children and community that is more likely to inoculate them against the true and living gospel rather than to attract them.
With these few reflections in mind, when our turn arrives and we’re lining up to receive our vaccination, I think we do well to remember that when we trust in Jesus, we’ve received a vaccination for our soul which overrides the power of death. Our true life is in fact ‘hid with Christ’. We can rest assured. Jesus has overcome!
*AMY BUTLER serves on the Gospel, Society and Culture committee. She has written recently on home schooling.