Saturday, April 7, 2012

Forgetting Good Friday; Remembering the Trivial

Just a few words on the observance of Good Friday, and the secular trivialities that too often replace its observance in our society:

I will be the first to admit this painful truth- In my personal thoughts (and occasionally my words), I am often too harsh on Protestants, even those who follow Christ in the best way they know how. Still, it is on days like yesterday when I wonder if my tough words and thoughts are not sometimes warranted...

Being Good Friday, I decided to dress nicely for school- a shirt and tie colored purple and gray. I always feel odd wearing this color combination in the spring, but considering the solemnity of the day, I thought it appropriate. I was not trying to look "gloomy like the hypocrites," but to let my dress be a personal reminder of my obligations on that day. In fact, I'd say I was in a rather good mood; cheerful if anything.

Then, I was approached by three different teachers, all asking why I was "dressed up" on dress down Friday. To my amazement, not a single one had remembered it was Good Friday, excepting one who seemed to remember when she saw me. Still, I replied "It's Good Friday" in a non-aggressive and non-condescending tone, and left it at that. All three seemed to accept that answer and carry on with their day. But, here's what bothers me:

A. All three of these ladies claim to be Christian- yet you don't remember or commemorate in any way the death of Our Lord on this day? I mean, we all agree that he died for our sins, right? Shouldn't that be a special day to you as well?

B. One of these ladies had invited me to her church for an Easter Egg hunt (before Easter, of course, which my friend Gwenny rightly criticizes here) but didn't bother to remember Good Friday. Yet another example of forgetting the cross in favor of the resurrection.

C. One of these ladies (among many in our school) were wearing, and remembering, UK Basketball's 8th national title instead. So, you could remember to wear your new title shirt, but not observe the death of Our Lord? Sure, a national title is good for Kentucky in terms of prestige, but it is a rather trivial matter indeed compared to the death of Jesus Christ, whose death saves us from death. Additionally, isn't it strange that so many Christians remember the death date of their loved ones, but not Jesus? Did he not die a real death?

Ultimately, I'm left with more questions than answers here. I wouldn't consider any of these ladies "bad Christians" in terms of the lives they lead. I'm reasonably sure that they all attend church weekly (even on Wednesday) and try to live their lives by the example of Christ. But how can you gloss over this tremendously important event? How can you observe things like Valentine's Day and Halloween, but not give the Crucifixion a second thought? In light of the faith these ladies proclaim, it does not make any sense to this observer.

1 comment:

  1. Good questions. Then you have the Jehovah Witnesses, on the other hand, who do commemorate the death of the Lord every year, but I'm not sure that they focus much on the Resurrection.

    I think part of it is that since Protestant churches (ahem, ecclesial communities) have somehow gotten to the point that they don't put much emphasis on Good Friday, those who attend the churches don't either. I don't know how good I would be about observing it if I weren't part of a Church that doesn't. I'm not saying that's a good reason - it isn't. But many of us can be thoughtless to a point. I definitely think it would do them well to reconsider this.