“Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” BCP p. 265

“Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” BCP p. 265

Lent begins with the imposition of ashes on Ash Wednesday and with a reminder of our mortality. This year we need no reminder of our mortality. Over 465,000 Americans have died from COVID-19, and every night when we click on the news, we learn of more deaths, more hospitalizations, and more variants of the coronavirus. Probably everyone has at least one friend or family member who has died from COVID-19 and its complications.

Lent is traditionally a time of serious reflection on the life and death of Christ and on our personal spiritual journeys, The social isolation and fears for our safety and the safety of those we love during this pandemic have greatly increased the solemnity of this time. But in the midst of our somber reflections, we can find hope, for we know that Lent culminates with Easter. The forty-six days from Ash Wednesday to Easter include six Sundays, and all Sundays are feast days – celebrations of Christ’s redemption and resurrection. “I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” (John 11:25) Even in the darkest and loneliest times, we have this assurance, this hope. We know how the story ends.

Much of our time this Lent will be spent alone as we safely distance to prevent the spread of coronavirus. May this time apart give us a renewed appreciation and gratitude for the gift of other people and the blessing they are to our lives. Even those who may have seemed like sandpaper in our lives have been a gift to our spiritual growth. A year ago we did not realize what a gift ordinary human interactions are

This Lent, through prayer and the Word, may we find God’s peace, strength, and healing in our times alone, and may we savor every moment of our lives and times with others. May we discover how precious every day is. And may we reach out in love to others who are searching for comfort and healing in these challenging times.

May God enfold you in His peace, and may you have a blessed Lent.

Nancy Nancy Young,
National President, The Episcopal Community