Today our office is closing early. It’s Good Friday and the boss has decided to shut down early – more of an “Easter weekend” thing than a “Good Friday” thing but because I’m a Catholic Christian, and I view today as a day of solemnity, I appreciate the gesture. It will afford me some quiet time in prayer – always needed.
I know that many people in our world (and office) are not Christian and I support their right to freedom of (from) religion. But I’ll admit that I was shocked (a little) this morning when I went around informing the staff that we would be closing early. Here’s what I encountered: one staff member wanted to know why we would be leaving early. When I explained that today is Good Friday, she said “What’s that?” I was dumbfounded. This twenty-something had no idea what Good Friday was or what it meant or that Easter was this coming Sunday. I felt a certain amount of indignation!
Just to be clear – this young woman was born and raised in Saint Louis, Missouri; her parents are not first generation immigrants; English is not a second language; there is no obvious cultural or religious reason why she wouldn’t have at least a cursory understanding of what Good Friday is or Easter means. And yet for her there was complete and utter ignorance of this most important Christian holiday.
That got me thinking. How ignorant am I of other religions? How often do I assume that everyone is Christian or at least understands why my Christian observances are so important to me? Who am I to lord my Christianity over others? I believe that a message was sent to me today: be more tolerant; more accepting; less judgmental; more Christ-like. After all, Jesus gave us plenty of examples of reaching out to those considered “unworthy” during His time here on Earth. Remember the Samaritans? The woman at the well? Tax collectors?
‘Lord, by your Cross and Resurrection you have redeemed the world’ – all of us.
(Not just middle-aged, white guys like me).