I read an article recently about a leading supermarket chain which is promoting "Easter Essentials". Apparently, there are no less than 51 products which are deemed to be essential, and without which we will be incapable of celebrating Easter. The list includes important items such as Mr Kipling's Lemon Fancies, Jelly Baby Bunnies, daffodil-decorated paper napkins, and hummus. Hummus? I can't think of any connection between Easter and hummus. But the most necessary item of all, it seems, is a box of Easter crackers. No, not the cheese biscuit variety, but the Easter version of the Christmas cracker. Do we really want to commercialise Easter in the same way that Christmas has been commercialised? I hope not, but the future looks bleak. Many of our young people have no idea what Easter means. Some, it seems, think it is the Easter Rabbit's birthday (honestly), while others think it celebrates the invention of chocolate! With beliefs like this held at an early age, together with the rampant introduction of frivolous supermarket innovations, it's possible that the true meaning of Easter will be all but lost within a few years.
Easter is the most holy of Christian celebrations. In the week before Easter, Holy Week, we think of Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the crowds shouting "Crown Him" and welcoming Him; we think of the Last Supper, and His betrayal by Judas Iscariot; we think of His trial before Pontius Pilate and the determination of the Jewish leaders to have Him put to death; we think of His crucifixion and burial. And then, on Easter Sunday, we joyfully celebrate the fact that He rose from the grave. And lives!
How could the remembrance of this wonderful story be reduced to a party with crackers and hummus? I hope you have a wonderful Easter, but let's think about its true meaning and do our best to preserve that knowledge and understanding for future generations.
With love and peace at Easter,