A pastor from South Africa was finishing his first year as a full-time pastor in the U.S. He had served churches in the two countries, so I asked him to compare the role of the church in the U.S. with its role in South Africa.
“I am still trying to come to terms,” he said, “with a culture where Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are more obligatory days of church attendance than is Good Friday.
“In South Africa,” he went on, “we have experienced so much suffering and evil that Good Friday is a pivotal day for us. We cannot understand the hope of Easter apart from confronting the pain and agony of Good Friday. But in America people come to church on Palm Sunday and again on Easter, with no services in between. Yet the church was packed on Mother’s Day!”