Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search


John Roughan: Easter Youth!

Easter Youth!

By John Roughan
19 April 2004

Holy Week, the 7 day period preceding Easter Sunday, is a sacred time. Christians worldwide grapple with the meaning not only of their faith but with the mystery of life itself. They do this principally through liturgical rites, Biblical readings and acting out Jesus Christ's last days on earth. Christians re-think long, deeply and in awe on life's most fundamental issues--life/death, suffering/resurrection, love/hate, trust/ disbelief, loyalty/betrayal, good/evil.

They prayerfully recall during Holy Week's intense 7-day period to that time two thousand years ago--from the Jewish people's Hosannas ringing in Christ's ears on that first Palm Sunday through his betrayal on Holy Thursday night to the torturous Good Friday death on the cross to his glorious rising from the dead on Easter Sunday morning. Holy Week is truly a sombre time, a period of deep thought and sincere prayer. It is least of all a time of entertainment, lightness and joy. The question then must rise "Why were youth, hundreds of them, so involved with such serious work?"

On Good Friday last week, for instance, Honiara's Holy Cross parishioners witnessed, for the third year running, young people re-enact Christ's trial, suffering and death on the cross. These same youth had sewn up and created their own costumes depicting Roman soldiers with swords, capes, shields, etc. Hundreds of youth, far out numbering the older congregation, attended in reverence this two hour ceremony.

Holy Saturday night, the vigil of Easter Sunday, saw youth once again dominate church presence. They acted out in front of almost a thousand people readings from the Old Testament--Genesis' Creation Story, Moses and his people crossing the Red Sea and Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his only son. Once again these public actions took weeks of preparation, attention to detail and willingness to bring time, energy and enthusiasm to assist other people review the basics of their faith. The question must be asked: "Why are our youth so involved in bringing alive the foundations of the Christian faith?"

Not only Catholics experienced this flowering of youth involvement. The Anglican Church as well had their young people heavily involved with church matters during Holy Week. This Easter season, the first free one since the Social Unrest disturbed the country in 1998, was like an unleashing of pent-up energies that had been smothered for five years.

Youth involvement, enthusiasm and concern is not only taking place in the churches and in church affairs. Many youth no longer hang around, waiting for older people to direct them. Look at the 40 to 50 murals painted on the cement pots lining Mendana Avenue. Youth experienced at first hand a period of Social Unrest which basically robbed them of their future. University education, in past years, was a sure ticket to a worthwhile future. No longer! Young people have seen their future disappearing like the early morning mists over a river. What was clear only a few years ago--higher education, decent job, marriage and then The Better Life--no longer is seems to work. Youth are clearly searching for, checking out new futures directed by themselves than what society had in mind for them.

Two weeks ago, at a SIDT training workshop, 33 young men and women armed themselves with course material that prepares them to work in conflict resolution with other youth. First of all the course makes it clear that the most important part of conflict resolution starts with knowing oneself. What kind of a person am I rather than mastering techniques and skills teaching others about conflict resolution. The emphasis is on the self, rather than the other. How to make sure who I am before questioning who is the other.

Present-day youth involvement challenges adult leaders. It also challenges the social order once so clear in the Solomons. Adult leaders badly used youth during the Social Unrest years. They became foot soldiers for both sides, publicly carried high powered weapons and were, in turn, promised bright futures. But nothing like that happened. Rather, youth across the nation suffered major losers. Their education chances were grossly interrupted, job prospects disappeared and adult leaders quickly showed themselves to have feet of clay.

Rather than bemoan their fate, blame everyone for their plight, many searched out a better future. Some as mentioned above, are becoming service oriented, others want to reach out to their friends. The adults challenge is to tap into this energy, to make it grow for the benefit of the nation and to produce a stronger, better future for all. Easter has always been a time for hope! With our own youth population already showing us the way what better than to copy them for a better future for all.


© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news