Monday, April 9, 2012

Good Friday or Good Business?

This Good Friday was unlike any other Good Friday of my life.  In a lot of parts of Mexico, this is one of the biggest days to celebrate.  But they've got it all wrong.  Some of my friends live in a town called Pueblo Nuevo, where every year they do an all day, full-on, semi-real-life passion play.  (two different groups do it actually.)  So, I thought, why not head over and check it out.  My friends and I walked around the town for a while, taking pictures of the beautiful designs they make on the road up and down the streets with sawdust, flowers or sand.  They are beautiful!  Some are just designs, others are murals, even Jesus' face.  We were all so perplexed at how they make it stick to the road because it doesn't blow away very easily.

Then we walked up to the town center where there was a huge fair.  Tents of hundreds of merchants selling any and every thing and food you can imagine lined the streets leading to the top of the hill.  This is where I was blown away.  One side of the open field was covered with carnival and fair rides, the other filled with chairs in a semi-circle formation for those willing to pay to watch the passion play, and all this madness separated by the rigging where they would later "crucify" Christ.  The whole thing was so odd.  We decided to leave and come back later to see the crucifixion part of the play.  About 6:00, the procession of Jesus and the crowd came through the street past their house and we followed them up the hill to see the crucifixion.  Soldiers, slaves, whips and all were very real.  As I stood there in the crowd with the crucifixion scene in front and carnival rides behind, surrounded by people drinking and carrying their souvenirs and carnival prizes, I was so saddened.  How sad that they celebrate Friday...don't they know what's coming on Sunday??  He rose from the dead, people!  THAT'S the day to celebrate.  The biggest day of the year they celebrate in this town, and they don't even get it.  I was praying the whole time that maybe someone in the crowd would really understand the significance of the whole celebration and experience Easter in a whole new way this year.  I know for me, this year's Easter celebration was all new. I hope you had a blessed Easter weekend too!

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