From the Head Master
Imagine reorganising the week, so that ‘Saturday’ sport happens on a Wednesday and classes happen on a Saturday.
Don’t worry – this is a thought experiment rather than a proposal! I am asking you to imagine the disruption to life as we currently know it. The logistics associated with such a change would be massive, both for the School as a whole and for individual families. Life for most of us is so busy, with so little margin, that any change of this sort would be a major disruption.
However, I suspect that the more profound disruption would be our orientation to the week as a whole. As a society, the rhythm of a week and a weekend is still well-established, despite the blurring of boundaries around hours and days of work, weekend trading, and all the other changes that have become part of Australian life in recent decades. It would be a monumental shift for the ‘weekend’ to shift to ‘mid-week’.
As I said, ‘Don’t worry.’ We are not changing the days of the week. However, I want us to feel the magnitude of the shift that took place some two thousand years ago, when an equivalent shift took place.
Throughout the history of the people of Israel, Saturday had been the day set aside as the ‘weekend’. Saturday was the Sabbath – the seventh day, the day of rest. The rhythm of their lives, whilst much less frenetic than ours, had a very clear pattern involving six days of work and one of rest. Their Scriptures established this pattern in response to God’s work of creation in the first chapter of Genesis.
Jesus and his followers were Jewish. The Sabbath pattern of setting aside Saturday as the day of rest was even more deeply engrained for them than the weekend is for us. Yet, within a generation, the newly-termed ‘Christians’ had shifted their holy day from Saturday to Sunday.
There is no historical debate as to why this monumental shift took place. The reason is very clear. It was a response by the early Christians to their core conviction that God raised Jesus from the dead on that first Easter Sunday. They termed it ‘the Lord’s Day’. Their belief in the resurrection of Jesus, and its significance, resulted in the setting aside of Sunday as the day ordained by God for rest and for remembering the resurrection of Jesus.
As we reminded the boys across the School during the course of this week, Easter is bigger than chocolate and hot-cross buns (although the chocolate gifts to the boys and staff from the Parents and Friends and the respective Auxiliaries were very much appreciated). The resurrection of Jesus, that is the particular focus of this Easter day, shows us that God brings good from evil, hope from despair, and life from the grave. It is wonderfully good news for us all.
It took something monumental to change the weekend. My hope and prayer for all of us this Easter weekend is that we might also rest and remember the resurrection of Jesus.
Detur Gloria Soli Deo.
Tim Bowden | Head Master
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