Has Easter lost its religious meaning?

by John Hayward

It’s certainly the case that society is far more commercialised than in the past, I told the local radio station this morning, when asked the above question. As the Jubilee Centre’s book on living an ethical lifestyle notes, we seem to know the price of everything but the value of nothing. However, from both a national and individual perspective, religious holidays are more than just an excuse to hit the shops and DIY centres.

Nationally, the Jubilee Centre’s research into the Big Society highlights how even the government now realises that the nation’s wealth is not the only indicator of the nation’s health and having faith is an important contributor to health and wellbeing. They also increasingly appear to recognise the important contribution made by faith communities, how people with an active faith are the most active citizens in society. It is therefore important that government maintain the freedom for believers to practise their faith in public.deviantart_com user Fangirl901 happy_easter_luke2334

Individually, even for the non-religious, public holidays to mark religious feast days are also important. Speaking personally, I was a passionate atheist until I woke from a dream on Good Friday morning exactly twenty years ago with the realisation that, even as judged by our own consciences, we are all guilty of thinking, feeling and doing wrong things. This led, four weeks later, to the full significance of Easter and the cross transforming my life and ambitions as I came to understand that, unlike every other religion, Christ-focused Christianity is not based on a set of rules – such as days to shop or not to shop – but is about true freedom and a relationship with God and his people based on grace. Hence the choice of title for the ethical lifestyle book I mentioned at the start: Free to Live.

Have a joyful and meaningful Easter!

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Category: Blogs

April, 2011

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