Alleluia, Alleluia He is Risen! Alleluia!
Today is Easter Day, a day of celebration for Christians across the globe and part of a long weekend of hopeless over-indulgence for many. I don’t mean that in a judgemental way plenty of us churchgoers will be tucking into the chocolate just like everyone else. Perhaps even more than anyone else in the case of Andy our curate – what’s the secret Andy, hollow legs?! You want to watch the over-indulgence or one day you’ll be praying for hollow arteries!
There seems to be some confusion about the traditions of Easter Day, especially amongst the younger members of the parish. On a visit to the reception class at St Mary’s I asked the children if they were looking forward to eating their Easter eggs only to be informed that they didn’t want them because they’d come out of a giant rabbit’s bottom.
I told the children that the Easter eggs come from Tesco Express just like all our food and drink does and that they are there to remind us of a time when eggs weren’t eaten during Holy Week but were instead saved up and decorated then given to children as gifts on Easter Sunday. I was also able to reassure them that two bunnies were not crucified along with Jesus no matter what the startlingly offensive graffiti on the side of the church hall portrayed.
I know that some of you may think like the wag in The Squirrel Lickers’ Arms who shouted across the whole bar, “Admit it, vicar, Easter’s about as Christian as Ayatollah Khamenei,” due to the pagan roots of some of its traditions. But while it may have vague connections to an earlier time Easter is now unequivocally about Jesus and resurrection. In the same way that Russell T. Davis took over Doctor Who something dark and awful was held up to the light of God and changed for the better and for all time.
It just remains for me to announce that the answer to last week’s catchphrase picture puzzle was ‘fisting’ – I bet some of you will clenching in frustration not to have got that one! And, most importantly of all, to wish each and every one of you a very happy Easter.