It is Easter week. A time when us clergy types of very busy. There are extra services to prepare. Two or in some cases three sermons to write. It is the most holy week of the Christian year as we celebrate once more the good news that our lives have been forever changed by the life and death of Jesus.
For others Easter means things as well. For some it is time to gather the family together. Many families eat ham. For some here in Sydney it means that the Royal Easter Show is on. For some it is merely a day off work. For many it is a day to gorge oneself on chocolate left by a bunny. Easter, like all holidays, means many different things to different people.
This is my first Easter in Australia and in the Southern Hemisphere. I know in North America and in Europe, so much is tied up in Easter being around the beginning of spring. When one thinks of spring in North America, one thinks about baby chicks coming from eggs, the first tender shoots popping out of the ground, and new life all around. People wear their new spring clothes on Easter and of course there is the tradition for wearing new Easter bonnets. Easter is a time of newness in the northern part of the world. The comparison is always made- Jesus goes into the tomb and finds new life and the dead earth suddenly gives forth new life. That is much of Easter understanding in North America.
Of course sometimes the weather has other plans, especially in Canada where I am from and especially when Easter is early. Sometimes even though we have had glimpses of warmer weather by the time Easter roles around, the weather has other plans. Sometimes the snow is still on the ground and the cold north wind makes it feel more like Christmas rather than Easter. Still we celebrated Easter just the same although the new spring clothes would have to wait.
But it is a bit different here in the southern hemisphere. Easter comes in the Autumn. The very warm days of January and February have given away to more pleasant days and cooler, longer nights. Easter is not the time of first sprouts. Easter is not the time of lots of hatchlings. Yet it is Easter still the same. The new life promised at that first Easter is not just for those above the equator. All of us are given a promise of hope and joy in this season. And yes, some of us might even eat some chocolate. Blessings