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Saturday, April 4, 2015


Chocolate eggs and bunnies fill the shops.

Hollywood blockbusters fill TV schedules.

But try to find a religious card and you will be busy until Christmas.

Many people do not know the story of Easter and many others believe in the paranormal more than in God.

The idea of Jesus is challenging to many. 

Say you believe He rose from the dead after having been asked in a secular situation,

and you can expect condescending smiles.

To encounter Jesus is existentially challenging. It can be scary and uncomfortable. 

It is much safer in today's society to say you are an atheist.

I love munching on chocolate bunnies

and hiding colored eggs for the children to hunt for as much as the next guy.

But on Martin Luther King's Birthday, I like to think on the man and what he represented and what it cost him.

Likewise the same with Jesus on Christmas and Easter.

Did you know the word “Easter” doesn’t have anything to do with the Christian celebration?

It is derived from the name of a German deity, Estre or Ostra.

She was the goddess of the rising sun and spring, and was celebrated in springtime festivals.

Bunnies represent fertility and are associated with the re-awakening of the land in springtime.

Bunnies were first associated with Easter celebrations in the 1500s,

and by the early 1800s, German bakers were selling Easter bunnies made from chocolate and pastry.

The tradition of the Easter Bunny bringing gifts to children Easter morning is also from Germany, where he was known as Oschter Haws.

Initially, the bunny left his treats in a nest made for him by children.

 Later, the tradition merged with the notion of the Easter basket.

Most people who walk beside you on the street or drive past you on the highway are not religious.

They doubt that a historical Jesus even existed. 

If a religious teacher did offend the powers-that-be 2000 years ago and get himself executed, it means less than nothing to them.

They will shake their head at you in scorn if you ask them if they believe Jesus rose from the dead.

The Apostle Paul wrote about the importance of the resurrection in his letter to the Corinthians:

"If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith… if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.”

You see, long ago we broke the terms to our lease on Eden.  We got evicted.  Jesus paid the back rent and rose from the dead as concrete proof that He had done it.

Still, Easter holds a significant message for us all, religious or not.

It's a message of hope and reconciliation.

"Jesus Christ risen from the dead."

there is life after death but more than that it's the possibility of forgiveness and a new start.



  1. I am not a believer but, as you say, hope and reconciliation are very necessary. For all of us.

  2. Elephant's Child:
    Hope, reconciliation, and forgiveness -- if more practiced -- could stop the downward spiral of this sad, battered world, right? :-)

  3. I disagree with your assumption that there are more atheists than Christians. From what I've noticed, the creationists and many other religious groups are growing. I live in what could be termed a 'bible belt', but there seems to be a multitude of variations on beliefs. What counts is how a person lives, how they deal with life. It's not what they say, it's what they do that counts.

  4. Hi Roland ... I sit on the cusp - I find going to an English church 'comforting' (probably not the right word) .. but it can give solace ... Easter - I did know doesn't tie in and relates to Spring.

    Times have changed and ideas have changed - it's always happened ... yet - having a religion should provide a coming together with like-minded (perhaps) souls for the common good and in today's more educated world we should be able to give ourselves a happier life, by thinking of others and having a camaraderies of hope and help.

    The butterfly effect - seems to have been taken over by the thug effect - I just hope we can find leaders in our world who will find a way through to heal and give hope ..

    All the best - Easter and Christmas are far too commercialised now .. Hilary

  5. I believe! Have a wonderfully blessed Easter Sunday.


  6. D.G.:
    I live in what could be called the Bible Belt as well. Across this nation, 150 million attend church weekly.

    You are right: what we live, we believe. Even though I Iive where I live, I hear precious little lip service much less see anything more substantial during the week.

    Most in the Western World have become “practical” atheists, living and speaking daily as if there were no God.

    Only when life hits the dumpster, do we hear people talk of prayer or of God on the week days.

    Moslems nearly match the number of Christians worldwide.

    When was the last time you saw a positive Christian portrayed on a weekly TV series? When have you seen the characters preparing to go to church, or at church, or having gone to church on a TV series?

    We see all occupations on TV and see their life styles portrayed: their drug use, their entertainments, their marriages, their love lives, their friendships – but not one murmur of their faiths.

    In today’s entertainment, you regularly see positive portrayals of homosexuals who were once shunned. I am happy that they have stopped being reviled.

    It is now the Christians who must be kept in the closet lest the viewing audience be offended. Our culture is daily becoming a strange new world.

    In Luke 18:8 Jesus says: “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

    think I know what he means now.

    I think Jesus would be happy that you are comforted when going to His House. I, too, feel a renewing when I enter.

    As you say, we now know more and more and seem to be happy less and less. Being the one-eyed man in the kingdom of the blind never ends well.

    "The Thug Effect" -- I like that term. Thugs certainly have seemed to have taken over politics, nations, and religions lately that is for sure.

    Perhaps this Easter, a spiritual renewal will blossom in a few hearts anyway. All the best to you, too!

    And may your Easter Sunday be blessed, too! :-)

  7. I believe as well! Jesus paid the ultimate price for our sins.
    I think there are more Christians than atheists, they just aren't as vocal or demanding.

  8. Alex:
    It would be nice to think so about atheists, but I think "practical" atheists outnumber us -- especially worldwide. :-(

    The Pew Research Study recently determined that "Unaffliated" will outnumber Christians in 30 years.

  9. I knew that the word Easter wasn't Christian in origin, but I didn't know the German or bunny and egg traditions at all. When I was little, I was more excited about getting an Easter basket full of candy than of going to church, but then church was a regular thing and my Mom restricted candy and sweets at all other times (yet another reason why I loved Halloween).