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Is Good Friday worth celebrating?

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Christians all over will celebrate Easter dis weekend. So starting from dis Thursday night, Holy Thursday, into Good Friday, ah break on Sat-dey and bright and early Easter Sunday morning back again in church. In most churches, Christians will revisit de scenes of de Passions and Crucifixion of Christ as well as de Resurrection. Ah should say dat not all Christians subscribe to dis festival, while some celebrate de resurrection or risen Christ, dey have reservations about de necessity to set aside ah day to commemorate de crucifixion and death of Christ; others have problems wid de calculations used to arrive at de three days between death and resurrection on Sunday. All ah dat is trivia, stuff dat ah refuse to mek me lose sleep. Man I been celebrating Easter and Christmas far too long to change my ole stubborn ways. Furthermore I know there is every good reason to commemorate de life and death of Christ.{{more}}

Good Friday was nailed into me as part ah my religious upbringing, ah part ah we culture too. As ah would of (have) said over and over, my Grand-parents were preachers, Good Friday was high on their calendar of activities so ah had no choice. Ah couldn’t tek dis long boring three hour service on Good Friday, followed by de obnoxious meal of mackerel and coconut dumpling foh lunch; times change and so do men and we taste, today my number one dish is dat same obnoxious mackerel and coconut dumpling. But as ah kid, except foh de setting ah de eggs and de “hot cross buns” ah uses to try and duck from Good Friday activities. De tradition of de egg was synonymous wid de Good Friday. De white of an egg was placed in a glass ah water at 12: 00 noon and three hours after, de duration and time of day dat Christ spent on de cross. De egg will gather ah shape dat fits an important event in yuh life dat is about to tek place soon. Usually it was either ah church steeple, dats marriage in de making, or ah coffin, de sign of death in de family, not so pleasant eh. But my girl Lie-Za does still set-up she egg every Good Friday, and foh de fun of it all, every year ah will call her to find out what she got from her egg. Happy as ever, every year is de same ole story, ah steeple, last year it was ah bride wid ah long bridal veil, but up to now ah ain’t hear bout no wedding yet!

Actually de Easter Traditions opened on Holy Thursday morning; ah could still hear Miss Rosalie’s loud voice, like ah trumpet blasting from de bottom ah de village: “ Hot cross burrrns! Hot cross burrrns! One ah penny, two ah penny, hot cross burrrns”! Each village had its own bread vendor and Miss Rosalie gave us yeoman’s service. Vendors made house to house stop, selling hot bread and cakes in huge containers; Miss Rosalie and her son Winston each carried ah large bamboo basket, three or four feet diameter. My ole lady uses to come-plain to her saying she will strain de lickle fellar and give him ah hernia. But she always boasted about de amount ah stout and egg she drank when was making him to mek him strong. And indeed she was right. Dat youngster grew up to be ah weight-lifter/body-builder, one ah de strongest young men in de island, he won Mr. SVG several times, he represented SVG abroad on many occasion and won de Mr. Caribbean title as well.

Somehow those were good ole days, my best days actually notwithstanding de Good Friday blues. But some way along de line something might have registered and stuck wid me. Later in life while studying de events of Good Friday as outlined by de four Gospel writers, ah came to de conclusion dat ah lot ah tings came to ah climax on dat final day dat warrant ah grand ceremony. Here was Jesus who preached about forgiveness thru-out His ministry, now face to face with death, being challenged and called upon to save himself, to come down from de cross and destroy his tormentors.

But it never happened, not dat Man from Galilee, dis was His last opportunity to demonstrate all dat he was saying about living our lives of forgiveness, of full pardon, of love, sharing and caring foh all. Friends and disciples deserted Him and went in hiding, Judas betrayed Him dat Thursday night, followed by Peter, de rock who thrice denied ever seeing Him, yet Jesus forgave dem both. De Jews and Roman soldiers mocked Him, spit pon Him, tortured and abused Him, enough to mek ah saint retaliate, but in return, Jesus turned de other cheek and begged His Father to forgive dem, because dey ain’t know way dey doing”, he said. He pardoned de thief on de Cross, he asked His mother to accept her son John, His most loving friend (brother) and begged John to tek care of His mother. Is nuff ting manifested itself on dat day, nuff food foh taught, and dat is what we celebrating.

But what to me was ah climaxing moment in Christ’s mission on earth came at de very end, not when Pilate crowned Him King of de Jews, but de comment de Centurion at de foot ah de cross made, when he heard Jesus, moments before His last breath on earth, calling out loud foh His Father in Heaven and committed His spirit into His (God’s) hands. De Centurion confessed dat “ Jesus was ah righteous man, truly de Son of God”, something dey refused to accept all thru-out His ministry.

Now after ah done read thru dem Gospel writers’ blow by blow account of Christ’s Passions on dat first Good Friday, real first hand information provided by John, de disciple who was there thru-out de entire day, yuh will overs why ah have no other choice dan to celebrate dat Blessed Day in reverence wid God. But ah not celebrating widout me mackerel and coconut dumplin, me hot cross buns washed down wid ah glass ah Mrs Ferdinand Mauby. And wid dat ah gone again.

One Love Bassy

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