Friday, March 22, 2013

The other day on the radio I heard a radio announcer talking about the traditions of Easter. Was he talking about symbols like the cross and the empty tomb? No instead he was talking about Easter bunnies, rabbits and signs of fertility. In other words, things that have been introduced for commercial reasons and are on the periphery of Easter as far as I am concerned.

Yet to many people all that Easter is about is a few days holiday, maybe a weekend away, the Easter bunny and chocolate eggs. I love chocolate as much as anyone, but admit by this time I am sick to death of eggs and rabbits dominating the shops. Even the humble hot cross bun has been lost any significance these days. It comes out months before the actual event, usually about January, and my guess is many people have no idea whatsoever why there is a cross on the buns.

Bunnies and eggs and all those other things are peripheral. They are not what make Easter. You can have all those things and it may be a celebration of some sort but it is not Easter. Easter is about Jesus and his death for us on the cross before being raised to life again having paid the price of sin. Too often though, Jesus is pushed aside.

So what can we do to bring Easter back to what it should be about? Here are a few suggestions. One church I know is having a purely chocolate night. On that night they are having a demonstration of chocolate goodies to make. These will include an empty tomb, a crown of thorns and all things that relate to the real Easter. There will also be a short talk which explains where each of these symbols fits in to the Easter story.  At the same time the gospel will be explained. Each item made on the night will have a small tract that explains the gospel message.

In our area we have an Easter Festival with stalls and crafts, a jumping castle, face painting etc. But along with those things, people from the local churches also have a stall where they hand out gospel portions and tracts and talk to people about Jesus.

Perhaps you might decide to make some hot cross buns for a friend or neighbour and include something that tells them what the cross signifies and that points them back to the bible story.

When you go to church, why not invite friends and family along to special Easter church services where they will hear the good news about Jesus?

Or you might choose to read the Easter story together as a family and pray for those you know who don’t know Jesus.
The Bible tells us that Jesus 'died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them, and was raised again,' 2 Corinthians 5:15. So what can you do this Easter to live for Him and to let His light shine?
I’ve given you a few ideas but I’d love to hear any other ideas of how we can put Jesus back in His rightful place as central to Easter.
 
 
Streets on a Map, was published by Ark House Press. Prior to that Dale has had seven children’s books and Kaleidoscope a collection of poetry published.
Along with her husband, Dale was for a time houseparent for a family of twelve boys. She has also written bible studies and Sunday school lessons. For several years she wrote about Christian living, marriage and home related topics for www.families.com. More information about Dale can be found at www.daleharcombe.com or on her Write and Read with Dale blog

6 comments:

  1. Great ideas Dale. We can't let the secular altogether take over with trivia.

    Down from His glory, ever-living story, my God & Saviour came and Jesus was His name. Born in a manger to His own a stranger, a man of sorrows grief and agony. O how I love Him, how I adore Him, my breath my sunshine, my all in all,the great Creator became my Saviour, and all God's fulness dwelleth in Him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree Rita. Thanks for your input.

      Delete
  2. A wonderful reminder, Dale. I'm observing Lent for the first time this year and it's been a great experience spending more time focusing on Jesus and His incredible love for us.

    Ian

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks. Glad, Ian, that it's been a good experience for you. Anything that helps us focus on Jesus and his amazing love for us is always worthwhile.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks so much, Dale, for helping us focus on the real meaning of Easter. Lots of good ideas there. Because I expressed some similar comments in my own blog this week,at your suggestion, here is the link to that blog, if anyone else is interested: http://joanneberthelsen.wordpress.com/2013/03/25/surely-not-i/

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks Jo-Anne for putting the link here. It's a post worth reading, so hopefully a few others will wander over.

    ReplyDelete