Sunday, April 17, 2011

Palm Sunday

Today is Palm Sunday in Norway, and the first day of the Silent Week.
In most towns the stores are closed, only gas stations and some restaurants are open. The churches have services today, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and First and Second Easter Day.
Do all Norwegians go to church? No, they don't. They use this Silent Week to travel up in the mountains, skiing or they shine up their boats for the summer season.
Ever since I was a girl there have been Easter camps, with skiing and services combined. The churches divide different ski resorts beween them, and take the gospel out where the people are.

This is a part of our bedrock culture, it's who and what we are.
Or it used to be. The times they are a-changing in old Norway too.
The changes in educating systems are slowly turning us into a secularized nation. It hasn't happened over the night. If so, I guess some of us would have stood up and protested.
Little by little, year by year our country is being uprooted with no new fertile soil left.
We are defined as consumers, soldiers, - or "burdens to society" the day we spend less than we receive.

Still the Silent Week exists. The law says no noisy outdoor work is allowed. The machines are parked along the road shoulders or in barns.
Lawn mowers and nail guns rest, we can hear the birds singing all day without lorries scaring them to silence.
Welcome, silence.

Jesus was a Jew. He celebrated Passover with the disciples. The scripture says he died for Jews first and then for Greeks. He wasn't killed by Jews. He was tortured and killed by Romans, Italians.
Neither did Jesus die for the white Europe. He carried the sins of all the world with him on the cross, that we all may have eternal life.

P. S. In wikipedia I see it is called the the holy week . Silent is because they didn't even chime with the church bells.
I like that silence. We have so many words, and so little time for contemplation.


Roan said...

Beautiful song. I've never heard of silent week before. Here, the week is as any other, although churches do have more services. I enjoyed reading this wonderful post.

Amrita said...

Good message for Palm sunday.

We have week long services here and 3 hour one on Good Friday afternoon. Saturday is silent.

Of course Norway has a Chrisian foundation so its visible there.

Most people here are aware of Good Friday.

Thank you for the beautiful song.

Crown of Beauty said...

Palm Sunday - the triumphal entry of the One they wanted to crown King... and then just a few days later, the mob calls for His execution...

This is a good time to remember what Jesus went through, for our salvation. I appreciate your thoughts on this topic, and the video clip.


Debbie Petras said...

I never heard of Silent Week either. Half of my family in Norway are strong Christians. The other side of the family in Norway are not. They go to their huttes (sp?) whenever they have the chance.

But one day every knee WILL BOW and EVERY TONGUE confess. I just pray that more of my loved ones will know Him.

Love to you,

Saija said...

i think Finland still has religious celebrations for Easter ... but here in Canada, it is mostly Easter bunnies ... Jesus is definitely only for the church going crowd - no mention in other places ... it wasn't always like that - when i was going to school, the bible was still read and all knew the real Easter story ... as you say, change happens in such a way that people aren't aware ...

regardless of who decides to listen to the message - the reality is that Jesus came and died and ROSE from the dead for us ... Praise God for that!

blessings on your silent week! said...

I'm just hopping over to wish my favorite Norwegian friend and her family a Happy Easter!!

Silent week... I like that Felisol! I am always so happy when this week is over and Easter morning dawns and He is through suffering for me.



Crown of Beauty said...

It's black Saturday here... and I'm back on your latest post with a new comment. I re-read your post a second time. Listened to the video clip one more time.

I loved the song by Rosa. She has a gentle passionate quality to the way she sings.

Loved your post, Felisol.

Nostalgic for days gone by. Yes, the change did not happen overnight. But gradually, the meaning of what CHrist did on the cross is getting watered down.

All these "rituals" are beautiful to me, but as you said, we can't hold on to them. The times they are a changing.

I believe that the things we celebrate are meant to draw us closer to God, and give us a hunger for Him.

In heaven, we will have the real thing.

We celebrated Passover last Monday, and somehow during the meal, I thought of you...

Read my post about Passover - March 19 is the date.

Happy Resurrection SUnday dearest friend.


John Cowart said...

Hi Felisol,

For my family here in Florida "Silent Week" has been frantic--hardly a moment to even think of the Lord.

My best friend, Barbara White, died. I rushed to finish a manuscript she asked me to publish beforehand.

Two of my sons moved her from another state--but they had an argument and at the last minute one moved somewhere else without letting the rest of the family know where.

Two of my daughters also plan to move in a few days but they are not sure where (or if they will or not).

Many phone calls, visits, moving furniture, regular work duties--anything but silence.

Yet, our Risen Lord is in control above the turmoil and confusion of hectic life. Praise Him in silence and in activity.


Jada's Gigi said...

I like this idea of "silent week" time for contemplation!

Jada's Gigi said...

The song was Awesome!!