You can file this under: Things I’m Thankful For. On Tuesday I received the first dose of the Astra-Zeneca COVID-19 vaccine, joining another 20% of the Australian population who have received their first jab. I was a bit crook for a day or two, but a short-lived fever, a few aches and pains, and a slightly sore arm are a small price to pay for a vastly improved immunity against the virus.

Early in the pandemic I read about the Spanish Flu of 1918. For three years, that virus swept around the world with almost nothing that could be done to stop it. Of course, it was one of many diseases that were unstoppable at the time: small pox, polio, measles, and others. It is only a full generation ago that these diseases were regular parts of life. What a time we live in! And through the eyes of faith, what a miraculous provision of God!

I give thanks that I live in a time when many diseases that plagued earlier generations never even cross my mind, where my children grew up without any fear of catching these highly infectious viruses, and where - inside of a year - I have access to a free vaccine to protect myself, and by extension, those around me, from COVID-19.

Thankful indeed!

Marc Rader | Senior Pastor