Dr Dafydd Mills Daniel in 'The Conversation' - "Everyday" Pilgrimage and the Covid-19 Lockdown
In an article for The Conversation, Dr Dafydd Mills Daniel asks ‘How to celebrate Easter under lockdown’.
As described by The Conversation Associate Editor, Jonathan Este, the article recognises that the closure of churches due to covid-19 is ‘a significant loss’ ‘for practising Christians and even those “Chreasters” who attend church only twice a year’. At the same time, the article explores why ‘theologians have argued over the centuries that faith itself, not ritual, is the heart and soul of Christianity’.
Dafydd explains that in the history of Christianity such “ordinary” and “everyday” things as ploughing fields or changing nappies have been regarded as kinds of pilgrimage – and more valuable kinds of pilgrimage than making actual physical journeys to holy sites.
As a result, Dafydd argues that, even as the covid-19 pandemic forces us to stay at home, “everyday” pilgrimage is still possible under lockdown.
As he puts it in the article:
“the belief that pilgrimage must be a literal journey encourages people to think there are special places and activities that can make them holy – places and activities not muddied by ordinary life.
But it is ordinary life that God created and into which he became flesh and blood. And it is ordinary sinners that he saves.
…if our action (or inaction) each day is the best we can do in our current situation – and we are motivated by an “unspotted” or humble affection for the most vulnerable in society (our own “fatherless and widows”) – we can, like Bunyan’s Christian, count ourselves pilgrims, progressing together, faithfully through, and hopefully beyond, this present valley”