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.