April 13, 2017
“A tradition unlike any other...”
This is the description of The Masters golf tournament which was held last weekend at Augusta National Golf Club. That phrase was coined by CBS announcer Jim Nantz. Now, like everything else that has to do with The Masters, Augusta National Golf Club owns the trademark to the phrase.
The phrase captures The Masters perfectly. It truly is a tradition unlike any other. Augusta National is an exclusive private golf club. Membership is extremely selective; access is highly controlled. It is difficult to get tickets to attend the tournament itself.
It is a “tradition unlike any other...”
The president of Augusta National Golf Club rules the tournament like a dictator. They control the broadcast dictating camera placements, what can be broadcast, the schedule, the interviews and even the language that is used during the broadcasts. For instance, spectators can never be referred to as such, or as “fans,” or as “the crowd.” They can only be referred to as “patrons.”
This year’s Masters was certainly “unlike any other.” Longtime professional golfer Sergio Garcia won his first “major” golf tournament in a playoff with Justin Rose. Sergio, known for wearing his emotions on his sleeve, put his emotions on full display after the victory.
The Masters, “a tradition unlike any other...”
This week, the Christian church acknowledges a week unlike any other. This is Holy Week. Holy means, “set apart, unique, a cut above,” and certainly this week qualifies. This week, we remember the events of the last week of Jesus’ life. It was a week unlike any other.
He was cheered as he entered Jerusalem. “Hosanna,” they shouted. Hosanna means “Lord save us.” He was going to save them, but not in a way they couldn’t imagine. From that point on the week turned ugly for Jesus and his followers. here were confrontations with religious leaders and government officials. There were false accusations, a sham trial, a beating in the public square and finally a crucifixion.
The only completely innocent person who ever lived gave his life on a cross for our salvation!
It was a week unlike any other.
Every year, we rehearse the events of Holy Week with special services. We pause and remember Jesus’ celebration of the Passover with his disciples where he instituted the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. We have a Good Friday service of Tenebrae where we recall the last seven phrases Jesus uttered from the cross, interspersed with music. The lights dim after each piece of music until we are in total darkness, just like the whole world when Jesus breathed his last breath on the cross. We exit in somber silence.
It is a week unlike any other!
It is Holy!
It prepares us for a great Easter celebration.