Greetings to all on this Holiest of Christian Days. I intend to be briefly repetitive. With slight differences, however.
For years, this man-in-the-street column has done basic things for your consideration. I’ve reminded about veteran attorney Leon Rockcliffe’s admonition – that Good Friday is indeed a Good and Blessed event so the mourning and the grief should be kept to a minimum; that, to me, Good Friday, when prophecy was fulfilled for the sake of mankind’s redemption, is second only to the marvelous Monday of the Resurrection; and that, Frankly Speaking, if there was no resurrection or belief in that event, Christians have no basis for their faith.
So yes, even though never an activist Christian myself but reasonably exposed to the teachings – and the mysteries and miracles – of the Faith, every Good Friday I cogitate upon all the above (basics).
Because I wish, with full respect, to point out to both young and uninformed Christians that: Easter is “older”, in terms of observance, than Christians; that Jesus advised his followers to celebrate his Resurrection, not his Birth.
But this Ultimate Sacrifice followed by the defiance of a tomb and a return to life eternal; was meant for whose benefit? For sinners? For all Christians (only)? For even unbelievers? To me this promise of spiritual life forever – inclusive of after death, could fructify if those who received the potential redemption meet their Lord a “full half-way”. They must repent and live in obedience.
Early on when I tried to be receptive I was informed of the vital importance of that virtue Christians should have and demonstrate – Faith; that faith is the channel through which the grace of the Christian God flows; that of the three virtues – Faith, hope, love – faith makes God’s love “eternal in salvation”.
I’m not qualified to be preachy on this day, but still I wonder – just who benefits from that Resurrection? The honest poor Guyanese Christian is now catching hell in this economy. The priests and pastors who are genuine and try to tend to spiritual needs are themselves victims of the economy. So are these to be life-long tests of faith?
That’s why my thoughts always turn to my friend the apostle Thomas, called Didymus every Good Friday and throughout Easter.
Shaken faith, Thomas’ doubts
Christian or not, who has never had faith in something shaken when hardship, tragedy, want are manifestly prolonged? These poor especially can find it tough to keep all ten Commandments to the letter.
Thomas was one of the twelve disciples who most likely lost faith when he witnessed the Passion – the beating, the crucifixion, the death of his Christ on the Executioners’ cross. He probably wandered off in grief and dejection before joining his other apostle comrades. He was unimpressed – in fact roundly annoyed – when they told him that their Jesus was actually out of his tomb and alive. Didymus declared reasonably: “Except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails and I put my hands in the holes in His side, I will not believe!”
The rest is history. A few days later, Jesus did re-appear and then rebuked and forgave Thomas. He did tell Thomas that those who believe without seeing are (more) blessed.
I appreciate Thomas’ doubt. He was a human as, say, Peter and Matthew. And reportedly Jesus embraced them with all their short-comings as He was obliged to do. I conclude by remarking that perhaps Thomas was too distraught to remember that true faith is “the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen”. But do you know that when Thomas was convinced that he was seeing his crucified Saviour alive and exclaimed “My Lord and my God” it was the first and only time Jesus was addressed as God?
Ponder this Easter…
Did Thomas travel to India after Jesus ascended? Let’s discuss that at the end of Easter Week as well as something about Matthew the Tax man.
Do you know that our retired Brigadier/Historian President did a high-profile course in journalism?
Journalism by itself is not Public Relations. Nor is “PR” Press Releases. But couldn’t the President advise his people? I hereby nominate ACDA’s Eric Phillips to advise the Coalition on simple but effective public education, public relations. The bright academic fellas and gals are not even as effective as A.A. Fenty can be. Ha!
Quote of the week: “Many ministers themselves have made the choice to opt for private rather than public education for their own loved ones”. Of course, but just one of their allowances can take care of the 14%.
Good conversation: About when business conglomerates own their own commercial banks. Poor foreign exchange
Can the Risen Christ inspire the building of a modern vendors mall at the old Stabroek Co-op Bank site?
’Til next Friday!