We all know about the arguments over Easter and commercialism, but what is it all about anyway?
I don't believe that people are more concerned about the chocolate than the message of Jesus, I've just returned from a church full of people enjoying the message, the music and the happiness as well as the Easter Egg hunt for the children. I just wonder whether one of the problems about church is time.
As a child my Easters, even when we didn't go to church was about quietness and a degree of reflectiveness. I was brought up in an era when usually there was only one working person in the home, where children had simpler pleasures not linked to electricity, and where teaching in schools included a level of instruction in the predominant religion of the country. It was very much a simpler and more ordered life.
Nowadays families are pressured to the point where, if there are two adults in the home both are expected to work, children are out of the house at two years old in some kind of childcare situation, and where to stress one religion is considered bigotry. I believe that it would be better for the country if children had more time at home with one or both of their parents and where a national identity, whatever that might be, gave the people of our country something on which to have a degree of hope and belonging.
When Jesus was preaching he was being quite political in that he was preaching about the acceptance of non-Jews into their religion without being circumcised and being allowed to eat non-kosher food. He was preaching against the establishment's intransigence and He was supporting the less fortunate in society. Even in the twenty first century Jesus would have been listened to by many and feared by the establishment.
As there is an election in a few short weeks Easter comes at a time when we should be considering what is the best way forward for our country. It is the time to consider what we as individuals believe is the best way forward for people and not for our own personal wealth. It is okay to be considered one of the richest nations on the planet but how can we have any pride in that when the number of people accepting food handouts from food banks is on the increase? We give millions in share dividends and yet we cannot effectively care for our elderly, and that says to me there is something fundamentally wrong with consumerism.
My own personal plea is that at this time of Easter we put people before possessions.