Scores of Christians today made their way to churches across the country to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
Some worship centres opened from as early as 8 a.m., as Barbadians prayerfully reflected on the life and death of Christ in traditional Good Friday fashion.
At the St James Parish Church at Folkestone, the sound of the organ and cheerful singing could be heard. Members also conducted a modest re-enactment of Jesus’ last days on earth and the events which led to his eventual death on the cross at Calvary.
During an address to the congregation, Eucharistic Minister Richard Sealy pointed to the biblical character Simon of Cyrene, who was forced to carry the cross of Jesus as he was paraded through the streets of Jerusalem.
“The cross borne by Simon is figurative of the boundaries and trials faced in this mortal life. Our Lord and Saviour gave a hint of how these challenges are to be faced. The path of self denial leads to the death of our own passions and wills. It leads to a life much more grounded and rooted in prayer and introspection. It leads us to ask the question more and more of ourselves, ‘what would Jesus do?’” he suggested.
He also indicated that the solemn Lenten tradition of denying one’s self access to certain pleasures like meat or alcohol would be meaningless in the absence of efforts to effect permanent changes to one’s character.
“One of the features that we see exhibited more locally, regionally and internationally is that the concept of death to self seems not to be as prominent as in days gone by… the belief that we are little gods ourselves, creating idols that become the main way and reason that our appetites have to be satisfied. A life that is based only on satisfying one’s desires and pushing God further and further away.
“It would seem that when the teachings of Christ or a view of the Cross is absent in our lives, our main concern is about how the next urge is to be satisfied. It does not matter what are the consequences of the actions. Just how one’s satisfaction can be achieved,” observed the minister.
To prevent such a dangerous lifestyle, he suggested that the cross should not become an irrelevant feature of daily life, but should instead continue to be “printed on our hearts”. (firstname.lastname@example.org)