Sunday, 31 March 2013

thinking about Easter

Even though I am not of the religious persuasion, today on the blog I'm contemplating the meaning of Easter...

This got sparked on Thursday when the boy and his class did an amazingly good assembly for Easter.  His teacher did a great job of letting every child shine.

They told us the Christian Easter story (the boy was Judas), and they talked about Spring, Pancake Day (the boy told us all how to make pancakes), Mother's Day, and lots of other things to do with Spring, and they fit this all in using the innovative technique of explaining things to an idiot angel.

The idiot angel thought that Easter was all about having fun playing out, and eating lots of chocolate, but it was explained to him that Easter was really all about Jesus dying for our sins, and being resurrected to sit at gods side (don't you just love these non-denominational assemblies).

Well, I am entirely godless so for me Easter is not about Jesus dying for our sins.  For me, Easter is all about enjoying the beginning of Spring, and getting to play out more (you heard me weather gods), and also eating tons of chocolate.  I can see why Christians have adopted Easter to celebrate resurrection.  The kindling of Spring brings so much joy after a long cold winter (although I'm not sure how Easter would work in Autumn in the Southern Hemisphere?), I can see why they'd want to hop on board that, and also why people through the ages would feel joy (and notice the dust) when the sun starts shining again.  Some people have asked me why I celebrate religious festivals now I am avowedly non-religious, and it's because religious festivals have evolved (or been put) at the times of year where they should be.  Again, I don't know how it works in other countries, but here in Scotland we want to huddle close and celebrate our families at Yule/Christmas, we want to get out and about and have some fun at Easter, we want to hang out in lazy sunshine at Summer Solstice, and we want to tell scary stories, and enjoy the smells and mists of Autumn at Samhain/Halloween, because that's the last time we'll be spending much time outside for the year.

The Christian idea that Christ is resurrected at Easter is a powerful one.  To die, and for that not to be the end.  Of course, death is not the end... life goes on, maddeningly; our genes carry on, if we've managed to reproduce; our atoms carry on, either through our bodies decaying and turning into other things (soil, plants, wormfood etc), or through our bodies burning, and oxidising, getting breathed in and out, getting taken in by plants.  "All this has happened before, and will happen again" (who can tell me where that's from?).

So if I was praying for resurrection, what would I be focusing on?  Times are hard.  A lot of people I know have been badly affected by the financial situation.  We have got away fairly lightly, but, that said, I'm not convinced we would have moved our family around quite so much if we didn't live in these times.  Wishing for things to be back the way they were is no good.  We can't re-open the shipyards and mines, we have to move forward, so maybe it would be good to notice how good things are, for the most part, to practice gratitude (see Bytes blog for more on gratitude).  

I cannot believe the huge strides we have made in what's normal since I was a kid.  When I was little not having central heating, and not having a 'phone were both normal, now we have smart phones, and passive houses.  We are doing great, let's make it even better.  What I would wish to resurrect would be hope.  Of course, there's lots of hope around at the moment, and the Olympics really helped.  But let's keep it, let's grow it, and let's make tomorrow good too.

What would you resurrect?

This post is part of a series of 50 I'm doing. I'd love to see your take on one of the titles.  Find the full list here.