I find Easter a bit of a tricky one. Christmas, now, that’s easy to celebrate. Everyone can get behind the idea of the birth of a baby being Good News, and if it’s a baby that’s going to save the world, then yay, tinsel and crackers all round. But Easter …. is that really a story any of us can really get behind?
I think the main problem is that it’s too spread out. There’s Good Friday, and that’s wrongly named, surely, then all the way over on Sunday we finally get our hands on the chocolate, which of course is nothing whatsoever to do with Christianity, but just a hangover from pagan fertility celebrations involving eggs, which morphed into chocolate eggs (maybe not surprising, as a boiled egg is hardly a very exciting present and is not likely to lead to any testing of fertility levels. Not in my house, anyway). Huge numbers of people don’t really seem to know the Easter story. And, when they do, they don’t find it that much fun. It isn’t.
There is such a huge divide, now, between those who can say they believe every single word of the Bible, and those who are just happy to go along with the general idea of a Christian God, and the even vaguer lot (myself included) who’d like to believe in a force for good but aren’t sure what/who/how that might be done. Every day there seems to be a new survey in the news, saying religious people are less depressed, lead happier lives, have shinier hair (ok, not that one) …. yet the numbers following an organised religion are on a freefall slide. Could the answer be some sort of pick’n’mix religion, where people can just choose the bits which seem convincing or compelling to them, and can just leave out the implausible miracles and the dodgy utterances on the meek inheriting the earth, etc? I absolutely love the wording of the St James Bible and would be devastated if it was re-written – what more beautiful and comforting words have ever been penned than the funeral service? – but I think it could do with some really ruthless editing. Or will I be struck down for saying that? Well, if I am, and this is my last post, then you have your proof – and you’ve just got time to get to church to repent 😉