Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter Significance?

Just received the following e-mail from a friend: “Hi Walter: I was just looking on an old web site where they ask you questions and the question was: 'Does Easter have any Religious significance fro you?' The result was that just over 50% said 'yes'. It just goes to show how this country has slid into self-indulgence. I would hazard a guess that if you had asked the same question twenty years ago the answer would have been more like 80%. I'm not sure how we do it except by praying, but it all reinforces the view that the end is near and we had better be ready for it. For a change; what say you? ****”
I say, poor old Easter is copping it hard at the moment it seems: from both inside and outside of the Christian Community.
For many non-Christians, it has just become another occasion for a holiday, with no religious significance at all except an excuse to have an extra long weekend.
For many, who still nominally observe Easter, it has lost it’s Jewish origins and become little more than a Christianised version of a former pagan Spring festival, where the emphasis has fallen on the accruements of the event and not on the Christ events supposedly commemorated at this time.
That is, the emphasis has fallen on the Easter Bunny, Eggs and Hot Cross buns, instead of on the Death and resurrection of God’s holy Messiah. Instead of the Cross on the Buns reminding people of Christ’s death, the buns themselves have become an object simply to enjoy. Instead of the Egg symbolising the empty tomb of Christ, it too has become an object of desire itself and morphing from an ordinary decorated egg to one of either Sugar or Chocolate! In like manner, the Easter Bunny, (like the chicken,) instead of symbolising new birth and a new life, again have become an item just to eat at this time of the year.
It is for the above reasons that some Christians would like to see Easter stripped of all its external symbolism and made not a secular Holiday but rather only a Holiday for those who genuinely remember the Easter/Passover Christ events.
To further emphasize the decline in religious significance, The Melbourne Herald Sun on the Easter Monday, in their “Vote Line” section, had the following response to their question, “Has the true meaning of Easter been overtaken by commercialism?” The response was a massive 90.3% to the affirmative.
However more telling to me was in the number who bothered to vote. While some questions do get below 100 responses, most are around the 400 to 550 mark, with some going up to 4000 votes, if it is seen as very relevant. Well the Easter question only received 228 votes, which shows yet again that Easter is fast becoming irrelevant to the greater majority.
I will leave it with you to decide whether that is a good thing or Not.
To many it would be far better to scrap it as a general event and only reserve it as a specific and meaningful Christian remembrance, rather than just a general long weekend with Chocolate eggs and hot cross buns!
Myself, although I too do not like how it has been overly commercialised and the accessories becoming the main items of celebration, I still think it great that we have this opportunity each year, as true believers to point others past the buns, bunnies and Eggs, to the true meaning off Easter. If we as Christians do not want the true meaning of Easter to be lost then, we Christians and not the world, we have to use this annual occasion to tell and tell strongly the true and original and only meaning of Easter.
Well you have heard my friend and my thoughts on the subject. What are yours?

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