Archive | April, 2020

Crisis and Opportunity

Here’s my May column for the award-winning Holland Sentinel…

As the days turn into weeks, and the weeks turn into months, I am becoming less and less enchanted with this whole quarantine thing.

At the beginning, it was kind of fun. Or if not fun, then at least a challenge, something I could overcome. I’ve never had a challenge that I didn’t want to meet. Just tell me that I can’t do something, and my response will invariably be, “Oh yeah? Watch me.”

But this feels different. And not in a good way. Continue Reading →

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A little something for holy Saturday

It’s Holy Saturday, the day before the big event. My younger daughter, who with her family is staying with us during the quarantine, asked this morning over coffee and the morning paper if I missed being a part of it, which was an unexpected question. I had to think about how to respond.

I think about all the Easters of my life, and how Saturday was not so much a day to pause and reflect, but a day to get ready, to make sure the sanctuary looked just so, to put the finishing touches on a sermon that had to be my best one of the year, though it seldom was. Saturday was the day I picked up corsages at the florist for my daughters, though the idea for that was really their mother’s. She was the one who got everyone dressed and ready and off to church on Easter morning. Most years I left the house in the dark before anyone was up.

Easter, for much of my life, seemed like a show that I was responsible for. Continue Reading →

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Plagues and Quarantines

 

Here’s my Holland Sentinel column for April…

Plagues and quarantines are nothing new. History isn’t crowded with them, but there have been enough of them that we should have learned a few things over the centuries.

One of the earliest examples was the Plague of Justinian. It arrived in Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire, in 541 CE. Historians believe that the pathogen came over the Mediterranean Sea from Egypt, a recently conquered land paying tribute to Emperor Justinian. No one knew what to do then to avoid getting sick except to avoid sick people. Continue Reading →

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