So Close, But Yet So Far

Religious films are popular during Peru's Holy Week.
"Semana Santa" or Holy Week is a huge holiday here in Peru.  Many people have days off from work.   Religious symbols and special church events are common.  Everyone seems to know that this is the week when Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Last night I flipped through all of the Peruvian television channels.  Every channel was showing some sort of "religious"  or "Bible times" movie.  I saw The Passion of the Christ, The Ten Commandments, Jesus of Nazareth, Moses and others.  At the nearby market I saw stacks of the same movies for sale.  For many families there is a tradition of watching these types of films during Easter weekend.   Probably every resident in the city of Lima has had the opportunity to hear the name of Christ.  The majority have watched films about His life.  Many will attend religious events this weekend.  Yet, the vast majority haven't heard a clear presentation of the Gospel.  Few have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Sadly "Semana Santa" is increasingly becoming more comercialized and worldly.  When we first arrived in Peru there were no bunny rabbits or easter eggs.  Today, the stores are filled with candies, rabbits and stuffed animals.  America's idea of Easter is taking over the traditions of the past.  If people don't hear the true message of Christ now with all of the religious traditions how will they hear it in the future when all we have left are pastel colored eggs and a fluffy rabbit?

Tomorrow we'll be showing an evangelistic film at our church.  We'll be doing our best to spread the good news of Resurrection Day.  I'm glad we serve a Risen Savior!