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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Bunnies and Blood


“ Brits will on average be enjoying over 3.5 eggs each over the Easter weekend alone. But over a quarter don’t know why handing them out symbolises the birth of Jesus. . . .” (Press release from one prominent UK supermarket chain)

I suppose we shouldn't be too surprised. Such is the appalling ignorance today across large sections of western societies concerning the significance of Easter that not only do many people not know even the most basic features of the Christian faith but also, amusingly perhaps, such a howler can slip through unnoticed.

You see, bunnies and blood just don't mix. Bitter death and stuffing yourself with chocolate don't connect (well, not in the gospel sense anyway!) How have we come to this sorry state of affairs?

The primary culprit in all of this, collectively, is actually the churches ... and that includes the Orthodox Church. We have become apologetic, almost embarrassed about our beliefs. We don't want to upset anybody. I might be wrong (correct me if I am) but some years ago a Protestant Church in the UK tried to substitute the fish sign for the cross as its public logo. Mercifully there was such an outcry that both were eventually incorporated. In times past there used to be street processions on Good Friday. Shopping has displaced all that. We wouldn't want to get in the way would we? Inconvenience people? Disturb the consumerist status quo? Not likely.

With the Orthodox Churches in the UK it is little better. In Orthodox countries of course, it's quite different. Everything stops for Pascha. But, what do the Orthodox do when they find themselves in the west? Keep their heads down that's what they do. Keep it all behind closed doors. Of course, there are glorious exceptions across all the churches but I am talking here about a general trend and that is quite worrying.

The first charge against Christians was “these who have turned the world upside down have come here too." (Acts 17:6). Nowadays I doubt we could make the idol vibrate let alone upturn it. We have become moral and spiritual cowards, a disgrace to the name 'Christian.' "Doing our best" in a feeble kind of way just isn't good enough anymore. We need to recover our nerve and stand up for what we believe in; indeed ... live it, proclaim it, die for it!

No, bunnies and blood don't mix at all.

4 comments:

handmaid mary-leah said...

Fr. Bless! Just so. We have PC'd ourselves into nonexistence however Christians are the first ones attacked always when it comes to moral issues. But even that isn't holding anymore as the liberal agenda has taken hold and people are afraid to say that there is a clear right and a wrong answer to moral issues.
Lines have been fuzzed, blurred into non-existence and as long as you don't bother me, I won't bother you. okay? Such is our world today. Many of our mega evangelical churches, here in the USA, just look at them on television, if you can stomach it, don't have the Cross on their stage. Lakewood Church (Joel Osteen) has some strange world-type logo, Binny Hinn, has the world and a dove and the mega church in Illinois, willow creek, refuses to place a cross on their stage because it is distracting to the worship experience. Some of these entertainment type churches also take Christmas off so that their performers can enjoy the day with their families instead of having to work. I have no idea if they are doing that at Easter too...
Don't even get me started on the new "sexual and marriage stuff" they are doing, it is way creepy and filled with the spirit of the age.
If this is what the Heterodox are doing it is no wonder they don't recognize that they shouldn't be shopping during Holy Week and Pascha! Bunnies and Blood? They don't preach Christ Crucified!
They just want to get their Starbucks coffee, find a seat, have a show on Sunday morning while their children are entertained in the nursery and call their obligation for church met.
May God have mercy upon us!
Christ is in our midst!
the handmaid,
Mary-Leah

Ian said...

Father, bless.

Very challenging thoughts, thank you Father. My prayers for a blessed Pascha to you.

In terms of the keeping the heads down, though, would you say that may have something to do with persecution back home: they're used to keeping a low profile?

Father Gregory said...

Yes Ian; I think that has a lot to do with it yet it beggars belief that old inhibitions should have such a long reach. Have a great Pascha!

Steve Hayes said...

I wonder what they were thinking?

Do they imagine Jesus being hatched from an egg?

Chocolate eggs are, of course, for wimps who give up chocolate for Lent.

We have a Good Friday procession with the Epitaphios. Because we can't go round the church, we go round the block. We used to have a Paschal one as well, but we didn't this year because "it makes the service too long".

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