It was 2020/2021. It was the time of Covid. It was a pandemic. Salvation, as measured by epidemiologists, seemed an intolerably long way off. Reassurance, as expressed by politicians, was an imaginary conceit. Comfort, though, can be shared through love. Jesus told us that, and we should never have doubted.
In a recent article titled Keeping a diary at the end of the
world, The Atlantic magazine talked
about how the early days of COVID
spurred multiple public and private journaling project, as individuals
grappled with the awareness that they were living through history.
Some, of course, were built around letters to family and friends, some were destined to be published widely, and others were public, though targeted to a specific population. My collection of short essays, titled Solitude, is one of the latter: as a council chair for a Lutheran faith community, I felt called to provide reflections for the comfort and consideration of the congregations during a pastoral vacancy. Eventually, the reflections seemed to track the waves of infection, recovery and hope.
This little book “is what it is” and while I hope readers enjoy and find meaning in it, I make no promises. It is available at Amazon HERE or through other retailers at Draft to Digital HERE
For many of us in Canada, we celebrate this Sunday as a
happy day, if we choose to believe it so. On a cultural level we have come
through a deeply religious week, filled with images of revelation and salvation:
Ramadan celebrates Gabriel revealing the Quaran; Passover celebrates the Israelites’ liberation from
slavery; Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus following his
Let us hope the messages of this last week are embraced as
being spiritual as well as cultural. So easily, in our prayers and
celebrations, we forget that celebrations of religious culture have not resulted
in salvation from being trampled underfoot by the four horsemen of our
never-ending apocalypse (conquest, war, famine, and death). This week, while we are busily
replaying in Ukraine the most recent version of “the war to end all wars”, we are
also being forced to remember that our cultures – and often our religiosity –
have led us to oppress and murder even children in our endless quest to
dominate one another, along with the very earth on which we depend for our
Each of us has a way – widely shared or deeply hidden – to understand the world we live in. For me, that way is expressed as the signal article of my faith: “Love one another as I have loved you”. That is the only command Jesus told his followers before his crucifixion. That is why we have Easter. That is why we paint eggs and eat chocolate bunnies… to remind us to celebrate our faith. Enjoy them!