The Meaning of Easter

Easter eggs are everywhere! In some cases they have been in the shops since shortly after Christmas! Many people around the world focus on Easter as being a time to indulge in chocolate, often in the shape of eggs. Children love Easter egg hunts! Easter also holds the expectation and excitement of a holiday and time spent with friends and family.  Although these events are fun, they are not the true meaning of Easter. 

So how did eggs become associated with Easter?  Before Christian times, gifts of eggs were exchanged in the spring time to celebrate new life in nature. As Christianity spread throughout the world, some Christians continued to use these symbols of new life but gave them a ‘Christian twist.’  Eggs were painted red to symbolise the blood of Jesus shed on the cross of Calvary on Good Friday. For these Christians, the egg became a symbol of Jesus’ rising to new life from his dark tomb. Unfortunately, with the arrival of chocolate eggs, this Christian symbolism has been largely lost and the emphasis of Easter has become simply the pleasure of eating the chocolate. 

Perhaps this Easter could be a turning point for us. I suggest that this season is a good time for us to revisit the Christian religious heritage on which many of the behavioural and moral norms of Western civilisation is based. For those who have had a Christian upbringing, we can use this season as a time to reflect more profoundly on the things we were taught.  For those who have had little or no religious influence, it is an opportunity to consider the mysteries of Jesus whom Christians believe sacrificed his life so that we might have life eternal. 

As we ponder the Easter story, can we allow ourselves to encounter the risen Jesus? Not simply as a man at the centre of the dramatic Easter story who changed the lives of those He came into contact with 2000 years ago, but also as one who has continued to change the lives of countless millions the world over since then. This risen Jesus teaches us wisdom, goodness, and truth. He shows us how to walk through life with grace and strength, and offers hope where there seems to be none.  If we ask him to, He will walk with us, meeting us at our place of need.

The true meaning of Easter is the death and resurrection of Jesus.  Good Friday is the day on which we remember that Jesus died.  Easter Sunday is the day that we celebrate that He rose from the dead and so conquered death.  The grave could not hold him!
“Alleluia, Christ is risen!” 

It’s not just about chocolate!

This Easter, I invite you to deepen your acquaintance with Jesus.  I wish you a meaningful and joyful Easter. 

Year 4 Holy Communion Service

On Monday 3rd April, I was privileged to lead a Service of Holy Communion for our Year 4 students. This was the culmination of a journey that the students have been on during Term 1. They have being learning about the Sacrament of Holy Communion in their Christian and Religious Education classes. As an Anglican school, this service is a central part of our tradition and worship; the sharing of bread and wine as Jesus did with his friends at the ‘Last Supper’. At the service, many students received Holy Communion for the first time. A significant number of students were supported by their parents who attended the service. I was delighted to see so many parents, family and friends supporting the students in this significant milestone in their lives at the School!

Some students assisted in enriching the service by dressing in costumes to perform a dramatisation of the song “Table of Grace.” The students were dressed as police officers, doctors, nurses, tradies, soldiers, people working in shops, teachers and the like. During the playing of the song, the students came up to the altar one by one to join in a ‘meal’ at the Table of Grace. After a time at the table, they went back into the congregation and brought other people up to the altar to join in the ‘meal.’ The message of the song, and indeed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, is that all are welcome at the Table of Grace. It was a touching moment in the service!

At the end of the service there was a shared morning tea. Students, parents and staff enjoyed the refreshments on offer, contributing to the warm and friendly atmosphere of the morning. My sincere thanks go to all who made this such a memorable event, including Assistant Chaplain, Ms Pilton who assisted me during the service, the Year 4 staff, the cafe staff who provided the refreshments and the parents who provided the costumes.  I look forward to this event again next year.

God bless. 

Reverend Dave