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Christmas and Easter

Was it just me, or did anyone else notice that the chocolate Santas this year looked more like re-wrapped Easter Bunnies? The fiscal cynic in me would not bat an eyelid if it was true. If only the commercial wizards could work in an angle for Valentine’s Day, they would have the perfect foil!

What’s funny is that those who have commercially joined the dots between Christmas and Easter, have unwittingly traced a line that has been well-marked for millennia. The aged Simeon, when Jesus was presented in the temple as an infant, prophesied that suffering lay ahead for both the child and his mother. Two of the wise men brought gifts at Jesus’ birth that were more in keeping with his suffering than with his kingship. Even the name that he was given at Christmas carried the weight of Easter, since ‘without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness’; and yet forgiveness was his name: “You are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

When I was growing up, those who only attended church services at Christmas and Easter were affectionately known as “C & E’s”. But in reality every Christian is a “C & E”, not in terms of some biannual sitting in the pews, but because they hold these two truths together, the bale of hay and the crown of thorns, the Manger and the Cross, and trust in the Lamb for their salvation.

DM 27th December 2012


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