Bunnings was shut today.
That’s a rare event, almost on a par with a visit from Haley’s comet.
But then it is Good Friday – possibly the only day on the Christian calendar to still command some degree of reverence (at least in hardware)…
In my own mind this day feels like the ‘big one’, more a day of mourning and reflection than Easter Sunday which is a celebration, or Christmas where the vibe is similar.
So when I got texts and emails from people wanting retic work done today I found myself a little irate.
Don’t they know what day it is?!
And that was the rub. Yes they do – it’s Friday and it’s a public holiday. They aren’t at work and have had time to go into the garden to notice that their sprinklers aren’t working. So they decided to get in touch and ask for help.
It’s only ‘Good Friday’ to those of us who are in the know – to those of us who buy the whole Jesus story. To everyone else it’s a day for fishing, gardening or taking off to Busso.
I found myself a little miffed at the insensitivity of people daring to ask about reticulation on this of all days.
And then as I stopped to ponder I simply had to realise that I was seeing the world very differently to them.
Why should I expect ordinary, secular Aussies to view Easter as a significant Christian event?
But it was a reminder of how easy it is to live within a worldview that is no longer seen as mainstream. And my response was equally concerning. Disappointment with a secular culture because it doesn’t observe Christian faith traditions is like getting upset with the cricket club for not kicking enough goals.
The times are still changing and as missionaries to this culture we have to be able to look back at ourselves and consider what we do and how we perceive the world because sometimes reality has shifted and we haven’t noticed.
I’ve been thinking about this within the scope of working with kids in schools. Some teachers continue to tell parts of the Easter story. But many simply go with the flow, turning it into a “crazy hat day”. At what point did it move to “Crazy hat day?” And here I am working, thinking, “if I talk about the real message of Easter, won’t people get upset?”
Times have certainly changed.
So my method was to draw a picture of a hill with three crosses. Next to it was a picture of a tomb that said “He is risen”. As kids sat to draw, I asked them about the significance of my drawing. Some knew, but many didn’t. Those who knew, sat telling what they knew to those around them.
We may not be able to tell the whole story, but we can certainly construct signposts… I’ve been reading the gospel of John, and it seems that many signposts are constructed by John the Baptist and Jesus…
Maybe we are in the same place as Christ, who also had to put up signposts to prepare “the unknowing” for the message that He had?