Monday, April 09, 2007

Easter Musings

Easter is over, the bunny is off in the flowers, doing what bunnies do, and I sit here thinking about the days just past. Other than all the bunnies, and jelly beans in a store, would anyone know it was Easter. Or maybe more important, would anyone have any idea what this was all about?

Easter is supposedly the most important event in the life of Christianity, it was on Easter that Jesus taught us what life (and death) really is about, and showed us the path to living a kingdom life today. Yet, when you compare the hoopla at Easter with Christmas there is no contest. Easter has become the holiday of spring break and ham, bunnies and colored eggs — and let’s not forget the jelly beans! Jesus and his message seem nowhere to be found.

One of the great experiences that I had was being in Israel for the High Holy days of Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashana. I knew a little bit about these holidays, but I was shocked by my experience. On Yom Kippur, Israel (at least the Jewish parts) totally shut down. The TV stations all go off the air, stores are closed, cars are not driven. It was amazing to see how serious they took this significant religious festival. Can you imagine that happening here?

On Saturday I needed to run to the store for milk, I figured I should get it today because the store will be closed for Easter. The store I went to was a local grocery store that was originally owed by very strong members of the Dutch community. I was shocked when I saw a sign proclaiming that they would be open Easter Sunday. When I saw the manager I asked him about it — he said that the owners wanted to keep up with the competition. While I expect the national chains to be open, a local store???

What does Easter really mean anyway? What were you doing this past weekend? It is so easy to just go with the flow and let Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter just be like so many other days. Oh well, maybe next year . . .

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