Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

This isn’t going to be the usual rumination on Easter that you see posted everywhere this time of year. Sitting through the services of the season and watching the moon get full put my mind on a different track this year…

I don’t know exactly how the celebration of Easter is placed every year other than that it has something to do with the phase of the moon. It must seem sort of odd to people looking in from outside the faith, we Christians have mostly become oblivious to it and just celebrate wholeheartedly. So while the preacher was going on about how 2000 years ago, Christ died, was buried and rose again, I was thinking about our somewhat flexible celebration habits and why they came to be the way they are.

The reason dates back to when Christianity was becoming the primary religion of the West. Without getting into all the details, some pope was trying to offset a pagan holiday with a Christian one, and that’s how you arrive at a modern holy week that’s synchronized to the lunar calendar. Christmas is the same way, there was a long standing pagan festival that took place for days on the winter solstice and so the celebration of the birth of our Lord was transposed to offset that as well. If you want to really remove any significance from the dates, take into account the fact that the calendar we use has been updated a couple times since the practice began.

To be brief, like all things, it’s less about appearances than it is about the substance. Historians can come pretty close to pinpointing both the birth and death of Christ, but what really matters is the significance of those events, not the chronology. So, after thinking about it for a while, I put my planner back in my pocket and focused instead on the joy of the season.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, That really does put some perspective on things.

    ReplyDelete

Keep it clean...