A Note from Peter
By now, many of us know that the root of the word "quarantine" is the idea that for forty days ('quarenta'), people would be sequestered to heal. We know as Christians that in the earliest days of the church, those who wanted to become Christian and be baptized would take the forty days before Easter to prepare with penitence and fasting for the celebration of the Resurrection on Easter morning. So Lent, in essence is a form of quarantine.
But for those of us who have had enough of quarantining, what does this Lent mean? Perhaps it can mean a greater sense of our connection to others that we might not see. When someone loses their sight, it is understood that their other senses increase. Could it be that this Lent, our sense of togetherness might increase through postcards, letters, phone calls, or even distanced visits?
Many of us have screen fatigue. Many of us also are increasingly isolated, and we yearn for community. My hope is that we will be able to gather outdoors in April. If that is the case, then we've got a little over forty days to go until then. Can we hold on? Can we continue to keep each other safe by keeping our distance, wearing masks, washing our hands, and get vaccinated when it's our turn? Can we continue to reach out to each other through other means to express our love and solidarity?
If we can do all this, the chances of an Easter resurrection of our physical body coming together grows exponentially. I'm excited. This Lent will be tough, but not tougher than what we've already been through. God calls us forward to go through this time to increase our Easter joy.