12 months of COVID has taught us all to sanitise. We sanitise our hands, we sanitise table tops, we sanitise the shopping trolley, we sanitise everything in sight, just to be safe.
Have we become an over-sanitised world, unable to withstand any bugs? Maybe. Certainly, we have become increasingly socially sanitised in my lifetime.
When I was a kid, it was not unusual for a school student to carry a rifle on the bus to school if he had Army Cadets after school. No one batted an eyelid.
If someone tried that now, he’d strike terror into everyone around him, he’d be pounced on by SWAT teams, and it would be front-page news.
In days gone by, it was not unusual for mum’s roast chicken dinner to start with dad carrying an axe into the henhouse. I won’t go into detail about what came next. But there was nothing strange about it.
Now, we buy all our meat in plastic trays from the supermarket. We don’t have to think about what goes into providing that meat for us.
Some even imagine that supermarket meat must be better, because “no animals had to die to provide it for us.” That’s how far removed modern society has taken us from the sometimes harsh and brutal realities of life.
So what are we to make of hymn lyrics like the ones William Cowper (pronounced ‘Cooper’) wrote in the mid-1700s?
“There is a fountain filled with blood,
Drawn from Immanuel’s veins.
And sinners plunged beneath that flood
Lose all their guilty stains.”