Posts Tagged ‘#handwashing’

I heard someone share on the radio favorite Easter memories and found myself driving and thinking about my own. When we think of favorites, immediately my mind goes to my childhood and the childhoods of our kids. The egg hunts, the new outfits, singing joyfully, in a celebratory way in church, the sun pouring in on Easter Sunday (shouldn’t it always be dark and ominous on Good Friday, while bright and sunny on Easter Sunday?).

A friend at work mentioned how she loves when, on Easter Sunday, people greet each other with “He is risen” to which we respond, “He is risen indeed.” It is such a joyful, bonding communication between believers.

Then I found my thoughts drift to the events of Easter. Palm Sunday’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the last supper of Jesus and his disciples, the betrayal of Judas, Jesus in Gethsemane, his arrest, crucifixion, the earthquake, his rising.

I thought about each piece of the drama that enfolded from Jerusalem to the tomb and this took my mind to one part of the story.

It is found in Matthew 27:11-26. It is the telling of Jesus before Pilate and the crowd.

The entire drama that enfolded with Pilate comes down to his one act, followed by explanation (v. 24):

He took water and washed his hands in front of the many people. He said, “I am not guilty of the blood of this good Man. This is your own doing.” 

I did a bit of searching for songs that depict or refer to this act. There are quite a few, but they are not ones by artists I would have expected … Rolling Stones, Megadeath, Kendrick Lamar, Pearl Jam.

My own memory could only grasp the lyrics from the Rich Mullins song, Creed (suffered under Pontius Pilate).

Yet, these words and this action of Pilate … the leader who was not a Jew, who had no relationship with this donkey-riding man, but whose wife warned him to have nothing to do with Jesus, for she had suffered such a dreadful, sleepless night …

they could have been spoken by any of us.

For, when things get tough, when other believers do despicable acts, say despicable things, we too wash our hands of this man, his church, his word, his way.

I think Pilate’s words remind me, every Easter, of how they could be my words, my attempt to wash away my participation in his death.

But, I can’t.

For his death … it was for me, for my hand washing … for we cannot wash away sin with water.

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You read that title right … there are good things that have come from this Covid 19 pandemic.

Call me Pollyanna if you wish, but my mind seeks to see the good in the bad as it’s method of processing, accepting and moving on from the dark and nasties of life.

The thing is, as I went back to work last week and prepare for the start of a new school year in the week to come, it hit me that there are at least three good things that have come from the Covid 19 pandemic.

The first is hand washing. Not only are we washing our hands, but there are reminders everywhere of how and how long, ensuring that we are not just dipping our hands in water and then drying them. This simple and quick act of protection will probably also help to reduce the spread of viruses beyond Covid 19. According to the CDC, hand-washing alone can reduce respiratory infections by 16% and this practise can reduce the spread of other diseases as well.

The second is that people will not just be encouraged, but will be expected to stay home when sick if one is feeling unwell. Working in a high school I have had the experience of what we call ‘typical’ students cough or sneeze directly towards my face … yikes! Yet, I have also had the experience of working alongside colleagues who have decided to work while sick, spreading their viral germs through the air and on every surface from the photocopier to the door handles. I have to say I actually feel more confident returning to school, with this new social, school and workplace change in thinking to feeling unwell.

The third is the bubble. In North America (and all around the world), we were encouraged to stay home, within our household bubble. Our families were forced to spend time together. Now, Pollyanna-like I may be, I do recognize that this was not a good or safe reality for some, where households are the most dangerous and harmful places to be. But, for the majority, we were involuntarily brought together, under one roof. During this time people learned how to cook their dinners, how to play board games, do puzzles, watch movies, how to garden, go for daily family walks and bike rides. We learned what together means, we might even have learned who lives under our roofs.

There are many unfortunate and even tragic results of the Coronavirus, but I do hope that these three have positive changes in our thinking and in our communities, long term.

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