The question has been posed, “Why, on earth, would we celebrate Lent this year when we’ve already given up so much?” Why give up meat, or chocolate, or television when we’ve already given up connection, closeness, shared meals and travel. Why make the next five weeks even more unbearable when we’re clinging to the simple pleasures we have in order to survive?
My church was one of the lucky ones. When the pandemic hit, though we weren’t live-streaming at the time, we had an impressive tech booth set up and ready to go. We’d been working towards multisite worship with some minister-less churches in our region so the move to livestreaming through social media was relatively easy.
As Jesus was walking he came upon a blind man. His disciples asked him, because he was a prophet and someone who seemed to known secret truths, “Who sinned, this man or his parents?” His disciples wouldn’t have known that the man was born blind. And, in their understanding of illness and disability it was a life of impurity and wickedness that caused difference or sickness. This was a theology you couldn’t investigate too deeply, because there were good people who grew sick, and wicked people who prospered. But in a world where everything was appointed by God, this kind of thinking made the most sense.