By Rev Jan A. Scholtz
WHAT does Easter mean to us as Namibian Christians living in these times? Have you ever noticed how different Easter is from Christmas? Christmas “specials” pop up in stores from as early as August coupled with Christmas carols everywhere, which suddenly disappear on December 26, which is the second day of Christmas.
But somehow it still seems inappropriate to break into Easter hymns before the Easter morning, despite stores selling Easter eggs, bunnies and bonnets. But that is not what Easter is all about. Resurrection comes only on the far side of the trial, the torture, and the crucifixion.
Even our commercial culture has not been able to find a way to trivialize a gruesome public execution.
And that is good for there is nothing trivial about it, especially when it involves God made flesh in the person of Jesus Christ.
A Holy week has dawned, which is a time to remember and reflect upon the most significant events in human history, culminating in the celebration of the resurrection on Easter. Holiness is experienced when the divine and the human, the heavenly and the earthly, come together.
We as Namibian Christians have once again the opportunity to participate in some of the most holy events we can ever know during this time. Or we can choose to ignore them. But our experience of holiness depends upon our active participation in the sacred drama of those days.
What does Easter mean to us as Namibian Christians living in these times? It is a challenging question, given that so many churches are struggling to reverse the current trend of declining attendance.
But I believe our response to Easter is not to sit idly, merely witnessing and hoping for divine intervention. As Namibian Christians, our response is to participate in helping God save the day, so that we can keep alive the belief in Christ’s resurrection for another generation of believer.
There are no easy answers or quick fix solutions to the phenomenon of the drop in church attendance numbers. Some believe that we are merely going through a lull, if we do nothing, eventually the tides will turn and we will experience an increase in attendance reflecting an upswing in spiritual energy.
Others prophesy that the church is dying and, perhaps a new kind of church will emerge in its place. Still others are experimenting with new ways of being a “church”, taking leaps of faith and introducing contemporary music and other forms of worship.
One thing is for certain: we cannot continue to do things the same old way and expect to get different results!
With the Easter season bearing on us soon, we will stand before the tomb contemplating the death of the body of Christ (the church) and prayerfully discerning how to roll the stone away from the tomb.
While we emphasis changing the “church” as the key to its survival we might discover that we need to focus more on changing ourselves, our own spiritual and personal transformation. When the church becomes a place where people feel they can learn more positive ways of interacting with others, a place of succour, a safe haven for those who are dealing with a variety of life’s challenges ie loneliness, abuse etc. These simultaneously feed into a deeper connection with Jesus and perceive the difference they can make in their community, and the light will shine forth from the tomb.
So let us not miss this opportunity as Namibians to experience holiness in our own lives as Christians. Christ is alive through us, therefore let us join the sacred drama that reaches its climax on Easter.
May we be willing to take on the awesome task of sustaining that light for all generations to come and be the change for the better in our communities.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015