Several newspaper and TV reports this week have focused in a graphic way on recent spring break activities. Video clips have shown raucous and even lewd behavior of young people by themselves or in small groups in the midst of huge crowds of barely clothed humanity.
In almost every case mass consumption of alcohol is involved. One method of such volumetric booze delivery is a beer-filled plastic funnel attached to a tube that goes straight into the mouth of the consumer. Another shows scantily clad young women and men chug-a-lugging gin or vodka straight from the bottle. Other methods might be both more creative and destructive.
Tragically, those reports include news of seven young people being shot last weekend in Panama City Beach, Fla. During February and March up to six million young people visit that small town of 12,000, which has been dubbed “the Spring Break Capital of the World.”
Other reports are of young spring breakers who have died from excessive alcohol consumption or drug abuse. Contributing factors include a large number of under-age drinkers and widespread availability of heroin, together with an increasingly popular club drug called Molly.
Contrast that dangerous and deadly scenario with the meditative, reflective, penitential mood of Holy Week. Celebrated by billions of Christians worldwide, this week’s events include Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday, the Festival of the Resurrection.
Scripture and worship throughout this week will focus on the passion of Christ, including:
- The Passover in the upper room, with Jesus initiating the Lord’s Supper
- The suffering and arrest of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane
- His trial and sentence of death before Roman authorities
- His crucifixion on a hill named Calvary, also called “the place of the skull”
- His embalming by faithful women and burial in a borrowed tomb
- His miraculous resurrection from that grave three days later!
Spring break focuses on the unchecked and uninhibited natural inclination of mankind toward self-gratification. Holy Week’s emphasis is the sacrificial act of Christ for the forgiveness of humanity’s self-centered failure to live life according to the purpose for which God created us.
Terry and I join each of you, especially this Holy Week, in thanking God for his Son Jesus! Soon we’ll all be saying: “Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!”