As most of you know, my husband Wally is temporarily out of the country on funeral leave (concerning his mother). His leaving came about in a busy time of year for us religious wise.
Here in Uruguay they call the week from April 17 to the 24th semana Santa. So they leave Christ out completely. Since Uruguay is more of a socialist country they go even further to avoid religious tones and all of the businesses also call this week "Tourism Week"
Up in North America some of you may notice the calendars say Easter is near. Easter however is actually a name for a pagan goddess, a fertility one at that, hence the eggs and rapidly reproducing rabbits to symbolize this. I was going to add a bunch of links showing the pagan origin of both the name Easter and the eggs and practices including Easter sun rise gatherings but there were just too many to list, so just google: "Pagan origins of easter eggs" and you will get dozens of sites admitting it's not a biblical practice. One site I found said that, that's where we get the name derived for the female hormone estrogen! So since we are not celebrating Ishtar/Astarte/Ostara or Eastur some of the many names for that Spring goddess, what are we going to do?
Well, despite the fact that Wally and I are, literally thousands of miles apart, we will be united, because on the exact same evening, Sunday April 17th, we will be attending (after sundown) "The Memorial of Christ's Death" at our respective Kingdom Halls. Me, here in Uruguay and Wally, there In California.
There is usually a full moon close to that date. We go by the Jewish calendar which lists the Original Jewish Passover date as Nisan 14th. The month of Nisan started after the new moon became visible in Jerusalem nearest the spring equinox. We are not Jewish but after Jesus celebrated the Jewish Passover in 33 CE (he was Jewish remember?) He went on to institute a new memorial supper that same night after the passover with his Apostles, Passing bread and wine symbolizing his flesh and blood.
Why is this short, once a year Anniversary so important to attend and observe? Well, in the Bible Book of Luke or the Gospel of Luke Chapter 22 verse 19 Jesus said "Keep doing this in remembrance of me"
Without going into any detail on us believing that Jesus is The Messiah and Mediator between God and Man, our God given Savior ransoming our sins. I thought instead, of the many customs people do celebrate. In researching this season I learned that many people celebrate Lent representing the 40 days of Jesus reflection in the wilderness. Yet, Jesus never said to do that! Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday, a time of fun and food before fasting is also celebrated, yet, Jesus never said to do that! Easter sun rise service even though touted as representing the Resurrection of Christ. (mixing worshipping the sun with true beliefs never condoned in the Bible (Ezekiel 8:15-18) well, Jesus never said to do that! Even Christmas with all the gift giving, caroling and here in Uruguay, Fire works! Yeah, fireworks! Jesus, never said to do that! There is the Scary Halloween and Day of the Dead celebrations Jesus never said to do that!. Then comes our individual celebrations, Wedding Anniversaries, Birthdays, showers etc... All the while, Jesus never said to do that! People just do! Now, comes the one time of the year that Jesus said to, "Keep doing this in remembrance of me". The one night only, he said to actually celebrate, with his approval, to be held on the original Passover date, the night of Nisan 14th, after sun down and guess what? Most people haven't really ever heard of this or do it for that matter. In the Bible book of 1 Corinthians Chapter 11: verses 23 thru 26 the Apostle Paul said in verse 26 "For as often as you eat this loaf and drink this cup you keep proclaiming the death of our Lord until he arrives".
So, as the earth turns and night descends onto each island nation and continent, this Sunday, April 17th, you are cordially invited to attend this celebration/observance at your local Kingdom hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, check local times. In Salinas, Uruguay ours starts at 6:30PM (18:30)
We all celebrate special occasions once a year, we keep our Anniversaries and special moments dear. I like to think of keeping the Memorial of Christ's death like an annual role call. Once a year Jesus can look down on Wally and I along with millions of others and say Wow, I said to do that and they did!