Easter and renewal
Wayne Campbell, Contributor
IT IS said that Jamaica is a religious country. The island is known for having the most churches per square miles (surpassed only by the number of bars per capita). Denominations range from the more traditional ones such as, the Roman Catholics and Moravians, to the less traditional ones, for example, Rastafarianism. However, despite this proliferation of religious organisations, secularism and secular activities are thriving. We are, indeed, a plural society, and this plurality of ideas is very evident, especially at Easter. On one hand, believers are commemorating Passion Week while on the other, non-believers revel in carnival.
It appears as if the secular world is far more united in what they stand for than the church community. With each denomination having its own doctrine and interpretation of the Bible, we are seeing far too many divisive traits among the church community. Would we not be better off if we were to unite around the core values of Christianity? That is Christ's birth, crucifixion, burial, resurrection and second coming. I believe the Church is weakened as the body of Christ with the almost daily squabbles and inter-denominational differences, while the adversary (Devil) has become emboldened. Evidence of the adversary's boldness can be seen not only here in Jamaica but in the wider international community.
We now live in a post-9/11 world which is characterised by an ever-present threat of terror, as well as higher stress levels and uncertainty. If ever there was a time for Christians to unite, this would be the time. Our society is haemorrhaging. We are tired of the murders, the abuse of our women and children, the seemingly widespread corruption in all sectors of the society. Second Chronicles 7 verse 14 says, "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray and seek my (God's) face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land". Don't you think we are now at that point for us to truly turn to GOD in order for healing and restoration to begin in our troubled society? Is it not time for the believers to come together? The Bible tells us that the labourers are few. Why are the labourers few? The labourers are few because of the disunity and corruption among the believers.
Easter has a special significance for Christians. It symbolises Jesus Christ's victory over death. Christ's resurrection emblematises the eternal life that is granted to everyone who accepts Him as their personal saviour.
It should be noted that Easter also has a pagan side. The feast day of Easter was originally a Roman pagan celebration of renewal and rebirth in honour of the goddess Easter. It was common practice to have offerings of coloured eggs presented.
Let us all use this Easter to recommit ourselves, to redouble and refocus our efforts and attention on the work at hand. Easter should be a time for restoration, renewal and healing. We should all renounce all actions and or habits which prevent us from fulfilling the mandate. That mandate is for us to go and teach all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Easter should be a time of co-crucifixion. We should, through the power of the Holy Spirit, crucify all works of the flesh and be comforted by the fact that Jesus Christ overcame those same issues which are thorns in our flesh and that we can too. We need to be our brother's keeper. We need to be proactive Christians and productive members of our various denominations. Maybe we need to be reminded that Easter is not about eating bun or cheese. This Easter, take the time out to find a church and worship and reflect on the Christian meaning of the season.
This Easter, take the time out to find a church and worship and reflect on the Christian meaning of the season.