Descent and Renewal — By John

Descent and Renewal
This weekend we celebrated Easter in new and pragmatic ways. Sitting in our cars parked in the church yard, we listened to the sermon delivered via loudspeakers from the steps of the building. Whether one was celebrating Easter, Paschal, Pasqua, or even Passover, the message was the same: renewal.
For Christians, the rising of Christ from the tomb is the central tenet of the faith. Yet long before the events chronicled in the Bible, cultures celebrated rebirth and renewal. The ancients understood springtime was the time for planting, for the arrival of new herd animals, for the greening of the world after winter finally relaxed its grip.
The Ojibwe have their legend of the Fisher, the Greeks told of Persephone and Demeter. The Old Testament has several accounts of disaster, death, or destruction followed by rebirth. The banishment from Eden, the Flood, the destruction of the Tower of Babel: all were followed by rebirth or renewal of some sort.
This virus has exposed many shortcomings in our society…some we were already aware of, some not. More important even than the gap between the financial and educational haves and have-nots is the digital divide. While all are forced to stay at home, those with more access to the internet are faring better.
Health care access and quality food availability are both areas with obvious room for improvement. Many trends in education will be examined: is our 150-year-old model finally ready for a complete overhaul? More on that in a future column.
The role of government in our private and professional lives has certainly changed, more so than even after 9/11. Are the “health police” here to stay?
Now it’s our turn. Disaster has befallen us again. In keeping with my New Year’s resolution, I remain optimistic. Not only will we survive the current challenge, but we will emerge stronger because of it.

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