Easter and all that

We went for our first service as a 3-piece family yesterday. Down to the big old gothic cathedral of Exeter. As soon as we got in and settled in right at the back, Kiarna gave a big smile to no one in particular, and continued to smile. Hmmm… maybe it wasn’t no one. Maybe she saw something only babies can. And then she yawned and slept.

Cathedrals are supposed to be dark and foreboding but Exeter cathedral seems to be full of natural light and very welcoming. It was good being there.

Tomorrow is Easter. The central story of Christians. Far more than Christmas. The new testament spends easily 50 times as much word space on Jesus’ death and resurrection than his birth. Obviously the early church thought it more central.

The word Easter is confusing though. In the rest of Europe it’s called Passover, borrowed from the Jewish festival. Only in the English speaking countries and their former colonies do we have the word Easter. It’s supposedly from an ancient pagan festival which the Christians appropriated as it was at around the same time. The Easter eggs and the easter bunnys are connected with this pagan festival, as the goddess Estoreth had a hare which laid eggs. Or so the myth goes. Eggs were signs of life and the hares were mysterious creatures connected with the divine. So as images they remained especially in Britian and some parts of Germany. Yes I’ve had some time for research but when you have a whole bunch of Christians saying that they refuse to acknowledge Easter you’ve got to pry.

But tomorrow will be the remembrance of Jesus full bodily resurrection. Yup Christians believe that. I do. An event like no other and an event everyone is invited to participate. Full bodily resurrection for the whole of the doomed human race. For a person who’s ridiculously cynical, and can’t bear the weight of thought of the degraded environment, the starving millions, the abused women, my own selfish life etc. etc. I take hope that Jesus has somehow taken the full impact of all this evil and has died with it putting all evil itself to death and he has risen to the fullness of life that God has intended for all of us. The invitation is open.

Ya that’s the sermon. And for once I believe it.


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