We have been “celebrating” a number of “holidays”, one on top of another, and tomorrow is our May Day or Labour Day holiday here in Queensland.
To a greater or lesser extent, each of these “celebrations” offers us some respite from the business of life – and I am not one to complain about that… Rest and Recreation are high on my list of needs!
BUT –it is interesting to remember the origin of the word “holiday” is actually “HOLY DAY”! Before people were given set working hours or descent working conditions, a HOLY DAY was recognized as a day of observance in the church… and therefore in the local community. People had a day free from working obligations in order to fulfill their religious obligations, to attend religious services, to celebrate and/or reflect on the life of Christ… or another religious leader/deity in other cultures.
Good Friday and Easter are 2 of the original Christian HOLY DAYS! It was wonderful to see so many Christians from this area, attend worship as part of their remembrance and celebrations. Our worship together was, somehow, even more meaningful because of our communal preparations. Our gathering together to wash down walls and windows, to clean and beautify the church, added a special dimension to our celebrations as the Body of Christ.
If I have a sadness about our celebrations it is more to do with my concern about the number of people who accept, and enjoy, the public “holidays” without any reference to the HOLY DAY which affords them the opportunity for a day off, for recreation and family fun.
As I type, I can hear the band and marchers assemble outside St Paul’s, in preparation for the Anzac Day march. At the risk of being controversial, I must admit that, while I have spent all of my life involved, in one way or another, in these remembrances, I am concerned about some of what I observe with regard to Anzac Day.
It seems to me, that in these times of “political correctness” ANZAC DAY has taken on the importance of a Holy DAY. Remembrance of our fallen soldiers (and their many acts of bravery) is taught in our schools and is an acceptable observation to the majority of the secular community. I believe this is appropriate, as it is all a part of our heritage, along with the First Fleet and our convict origins. BUT, Gallipoli and Anzac Cove have become shrines to generations who make the trek to these sites as the Jews travelled to Jerusalem… while Christ, who died for us all, is forgotten or deliberately cut out of HOLY DAYS, which began, in His name! I am concerned that He is being buried beneath our multiculturalism!
We need to stand firm in our faith and speak up… Christ is Risen Alleluia! HE IS RISEN INDEED – ALLELUIA!