We have been talking to some people about a new building for our ministry over the last few days. It's closer to the "action" in town (not sure if that's good or bad!). By action, I'm talking about the mean streets, the club scene. The good part is the building comes with an optional house (a real house!) above it. Anyway, they have just been clearing it out over the last few days. I went by today to show Martha the building and lo and behold, there are about 15-20 people decorating it with palm branches, balloons, tables and chairs. I asked what was going on and they said they were going to have a fiesta this weekend for Easter. Then I turned, looked and saw it; "The Great Wall of Cerveza!" And, they are still bringing it in! It's Semana Santa, or Holy Week, from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday.
Now, it's not surprising to me to see this and it's not even surprising to me that it would be in the very building that we are hoping to rent to have church and ministry in. It didn't even surprise me when I looked and saw one of the guys we have been ministering to in our alcohol/drug addiction ministry working there nailing up palm branches on the wall. He has had serious drug problems in the past and we have tried to help him. He comes to church occasionally but professes to be a Muslim. He motioned me over and when I got to him, that is when I got my surprise. He said, "Pastor Paul, I'm not quite sure, but what does drinking beer and dancing have to do with the death of Christ and His resurrection ?" I was stunned that he got it and so few of the "Christians" didn't!
I told him, "I've never figured out what they see as being holy about Holy Week".
That's a sad commentary on the actions of "Christians" in the eyes of others when people of other faiths see the hypocrisy of the message some of us send.