Thoughts from N T Wright
For many Christians, the coronavirus-induced limitations on life have arrived at the same time as Lent, the traditional season of doing without. But the sharp new regulations—no theatre, schools shutting, virtual house arrest for us over-70s—make a mockery of our little Lenten disciplines. Doing without whiskey, or chocolate, is child’s play compared with not seeing friends or grandchildren, or going to the pub, the library or church.
No doubt the usual silly suspects will tell us why God is doing this to us. A punishment? A warning? A sign? These are knee-jerk would-be Christian reactions in a culture which, generations back, embraced rationalism: everything must have an explanation.
But supposing it doesn’t?
I wrote about this a bit more fully in my recent article for Time.com:
(The headline, by the way, was written by the TIME sub-editor and, as many people have pointed out to me, it isn’t really a fair representation of what I was saying – though it gets part of it.)
I hope you will read it and share with others who are trying to navigate this strange time.
My wife, Maggie, and I are settling into life back in Oxford. I discussed the complexities of our situation in this recent episode of Ask N.T. Wright Anything. You'll even hear how we organized a garden treasure hunt for our grandchildren on Mothering Sunday, although we had to watch from inside.
May God bless you and yours in this strange Lent.
PS: If you're feeling a little stir-crazy, I hope you'll take a look at our course catalogue, including a few free courses that you can share with your friends.