Okay, quick, tell me what you know about Good Friday. Maundy Thursday. Let's go out on a limb here and tell me what you know about Easter. This is pretty important stuff. If you're Christian, this week is an observance of the most important event in human history. It has eternal significance.
Look for an answer in the media and there's little there to tell about this important day. For example, early this morning, Good Friday, after dropping my wife off at her school, I stopped at the McDonalds on MLK in Lansing and read USA Today. I found no reference to Holy Week or Easter.
First thing this morning, I checked the local Lansing State Journal and only thing I saw was a pretty lame reference to Good Friday in the story about Pope Paul's health struggles.
Then, when I got home, I checked the online versions of various newspapers and . . .
- The Detroit Free Press has a page one story by its religion writer, David Krumm, who writes about how the marketplace is taking advantage of buyers' enthusiam for the Holy Week.
- The New York Times had no apparent reference to Holy Week, Good Friday or Easter.
- CNN had a link to photos of Holy Week observances around the world.
- The Indy Star had nothing on the homepage.
I'm disappointed. News editors and directors--are they reflecting a point of view about Christianity or are they reflecting a much more secular post-Christian culture.
Growing up in Bay City, MI, I always went with my mother to a community-wide Good Friday Service at the old Empire Theater. It was an occasion that drew people together with a common focus on what Jesus Christ did on the cross. The music, the singing, the worship--traditional, was something to be remembered.
And then going to Easter Sunday Services at Immanuel Lutheran in Bay City, I remember the excitement in the air. It was a high moment in my year. I still remember helping with my Uncle Paul Moll to park cars in the church parking lot.
It was one day where I could feel the special gift and identity given to me by the Resurrection. As the years have gone by, it seems like my appreciation of this gift has become hazed over and less personal.
I pray that will change this year for me and my wife and my kids who are grown and in different states. It's to our benefit--all of our benefit--to remember and celebrate the only true hope that's out there.