Sunday 23 March 2008

Easter - A Big Joke

We celebrated Easter today by inviting a few friends around to our house for brunch - croissants, bacon rolls, fresh fruit salad, freshly baked muffins and cinnamon raisin bread (I love my wife!!) After a little egg hunt for the children we sat around the table with tea and coffee and I led a short reflection on the message of Easter. I'm sorry you couldn't make it today (you're welcome next Sunday), so here's the gist of what I said, for what it's worth:

Over the years and across different traditions, the meaning of Easter has been expressed in a variety of ways. One that particularly stands out for me was when C.S. Lewis, author of the Chronicles of Narnia, asked some children to write a poem about Easter. One little girl responded by writing a poem entitled, ‘Chocolate Eggs and Jesus Risen’. Now, some may spend the day consuming the chocolate, while others just focus on the resurrection. I certainly think there is room for both – after all Easter is meant to be a celebration and it’s proven that there is nothing like chocolate for making you feel good!

That idea of celebration is captured in different Christian traditions. I particularly like the tradition of the Eastern Orthodox Church who have been known to begin their worship on Easter Sunday by telling jokes. Perhaps this echoes the words of St Paul who wrote, ‘Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death is your sting?’ (1 Cor.15:55). I think I can picture a wry smile on Paul’s face as he writes these words. Someone else once said that the resurrection was God’s biggest joke. You either get it or you don’t.

Now, it doesn’t take two thousand years of science to tell us that dead people don’t come back from the grave and yet there is something about the events of Easter that cause millions of people to believe otherwise – and also present the possibility of a future hope. Perhaps that’s a discussion for another day...

But whatever our perception or understanding of what today may be, the theme of hope, new beginnings, and life are worthy aspects to celebrate.

Happy Easter. God bless you!


Nick Coke said...

I've always loved the whole joke at Easter thing, too! We actually had some 'Easter Crackers' with our lunch today - they're exactly the same as Christmas ones - paper crowns, naff presents - but also Easter jokes! So during our church party this afternoon I read a couple out. Henry (aged 6) had a favourite: What do you call a bunny with a dictionary in his pants? A smarty pants!

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