Saturday, April 07, 2007

remind me what easter's about again?!

I thought Easter was all about Jesus - you know, death, resurrection and all of that.

Then I went to the shops where my eyes were opened to the reality of Easter in the lives of most Tasmanians.

I didn't think about it really. Thursday was just a day off work. I chatted over coffee with a couple of friends before deciding a quick round of the shops was in order as a reward for recent hard work.

Caught up in my thoughts, I drifted into Target to peruse the latest fashions, before walking smack-bang into a literal wall of shoppers. Every checkout was open with a queue extending across the aisle.

"Strange," I thought "Tasmania is hardly a crowded place! Where have all these people come from? It couldn't be Easter causing all this could it?"

Next I spied a local chocolate store.

"Hmmmm, I haven't bought Frank a surprise for a while, I'll duck in and find him a yummy chocolate that expresses my love," and in I went.

Packed, absolutely packed. As many people as you can fit into a 6 metre square shop were frantically scanning the shelves for dairy free chocolate, gift boxes, specialty Easter eggs.

It appeared that Easter might be bringing the whole of the city into the streets!

That evening I decided to combine aqua aerobics with grocery shopping and ducked into the supermarket on the way home. What a crowd! There were as many people racing up and down the aisles as at 4pm on a Friday afternoon, and there it was nearly nine o'clock at night!

Suddenly all became clear. Easter isn't about Jesus! It's about frantic last minute shopping for Easter eggs, long weekend camping, chocolate, commercialism... anything but remembering Jesus' death and resurrection.

I feel angry with the people who've pedaled such a shallow concept of Easter. I'm annoyed that people who deny Jesus' name cling to a long weekend in his honour. I'm sad that the church universal has done nothing to prevent this prevailing attitude of disregard.

And then Easter really arrived, and Frank and I went to church to reflect on Jesus' death. This is a relatively new experience for me, since my Dad insisted that Easter (and Christmas) were originally pagan feasts and not to be celebrated in our home. I now love gathering in solidarity with all those around the world who choose to remember Christ, calming my heart, stilling my mind and meditating on Jesus.

When it all boils down, I'm humbled by Jesus' attitude, inspired by his obedience, overwhelmed by his love.

We all have the freedom to make Easter what we want. I'm grateful for the opportunity to reflect more fully on Jesus and his incredible beauty.

Come tomorrow morning I'll be back at church rejoicing in the incredible wonder of new life! I love it.

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At 1:32 am, April 08, 2007, Blogger Cherie said...

This is just perfect, and much needed today - by me.

Thanks from the bottom of my heart!

At 2:54 am, April 08, 2007, Blogger Cherie said...

P.S. I hope you don't mind that I linked from my blog to this post. It really did meet my needs, and I think others will benefit as well. Thanks for writing it!

At 7:20 am, April 08, 2007, Blogger lisasmith said...

Hi Cecily--I just found you through Cherie. I agree and am encouraged by others who spend time meditating and reflecting on who Jesus is and what He did for us that makes Easter what it REALLY is. Thanks for sharing!

At 8:53 am, April 08, 2007, Anonymous Sandy said...

And there you have it. You've touched three hearts on the otherside of the world, I'm the third.

At 12:19 pm, April 08, 2007, Blogger Cecily said...

I was a bit worried I sounded judgmental and harsh... it wasn't my intention, I just wanted to record my personal Easter reflection for the year. Thankyou all for your kind words!

Cherie, I'm a shameless blog hussy (though very prim and proper in real life of course!) so, for selfish statistical reasons, I'm delighted that you've linked to me! More seriously, I'm also honoured that you were touched enough to link - thanks a lot! :)

At 4:32 pm, April 08, 2007, Blogger Cherie said...

Blog hussy, huh........hmmm well, you hide it pretty well.. ;-)

And you are most welcome. Happy Easter!

At 3:49 am, April 09, 2007, Blogger Pam said...

Hi Cecily - I come to you from both Sandy and Cherie... What a well-stated post you have written! I often start feeling grumpy the closer it gets to Easter and Christmas when I encounter the crowds of shoppers every time I go out, and I believe it is because of the frenzy everyone is in to create their "perfect" holiday experience that actually has nothing whatsoever to do with the day we are celebrating.

Anyway, I really enjoyed your post.
Happy Easter!

At 11:57 am, April 10, 2007, Blogger Cecily said...

Hi Pam... welcome! I'm a secret, occasional lurker on your blog and love the way you write!

At 9:54 pm, April 10, 2007, Blogger Pam said...

Thank you, Cecily. Lurk all you want! Hopefully I'll find my words again soon and post something new.

At 9:29 am, April 12, 2007, Anonymous luke said...


Easter is a good opportunity to remember Jesus' death and resurrection, for sure, but it's no better than any other opportunity. Like it or not, Easter itself is most likely named after a pagan goddess, Eostre.

Still, there's nothing wrong with commemorating Jesus' fulfillment of God's promises on a (somewhat) random weekend every year :-)

I'm similarly angered by the commercialism. Unlike Christmas, the message of Easter cannot be made cute and cuddly (i.e. no "baby Jesus") -- it's confrontingly grisly and supernatural, which the secular world can't deal with. What else is there to do but eat lots of chocolate and enjoy a long weekend?

Only God can take the blinders off.

Thanks for your thoughtful post!


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