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Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Can we have Easter Delights without Lenten Fasting? – Lawrence


A few weeks ago, when I was out doing the weekly shopping, I was surprised to see all the Easter goodies on the shelves. This was not just the usual chocolate bunnies and chocolate eggs but Easter crackers in pastel pinks, yellows and blues—Christmas crackers transformed from red, green and silver into the more gentle colours of spring.

There is rarely a day throughout the year when there is not some reason given for buying greeting cards and chocolate goodies in order to celebrate one event or another. Chocolate Santa Claus and chocolate bells are in stores by October; Valentine hearts are on the shelves almost before New Year’s Day is over; while Easter eggs and St. Patrick’s Day clover leaf emblems sit side by side with little distinction between the two occasions.

It occurred to me that we are continually looking for and being tempted by the good stuff in life; we don’t consider that sometimes we have to go through difficult times and, in fact, it might even be good for us to do so. We begin to think that it is our right to have the good things in life without ever having to experience bad things—we don’t look for the dry bread of Lent, only the sweet treats of Easter.

We certainly won’t see the dry bread of Lent being sold in the supermarket but without some difficulties in life we can never truly appreciate the rich chocolate of Easter eggs. Without the wilderness of Lent, or the rites of Holy Week and Good Friday, we could never truly appreciate our Lord’s resurrection and what this means to us as Christians.

© Judith Lawrence

2 comments:

Kim said...

Although I've been through enough of this earths valleys, they were not of my choosing. Each one has given me new perspective or made me treasure the simple, wonderous things in life all the more.
I've never given something up for Lent. But you've just shamed me into committing to do so next year. Perhaps choosing a tiny valley will make my Easter experience all the richer as well.

Peter Black said...

Ah yes, Judith, you bring both challenge and cheer in this piece.
I've expressed for some years that typically we evangelicals have much to learn from those traditions that are more contemplative in preparing their hearts for the wonder of the cross and the glory of the vacated tomb!
Fasting on some level can play a valuable part in that preparation.
Thank you.