An Easter Thought
Most of us are getting ready for a four day weekend getaway, some of us have already packed our bags, taken our annual leave and are on vacation right this minute. Whether the holidays are to spend some time away from work and catch up with friends, spend time with the family, or try to negotiate the DIY store and the garden centre, Easter has many reasons to make people take a sigh of relief and chill out. But in the end Easter first and foremost is a religious holiday isn’t it?
I asked Lawrence Bradley of Journey Metropolitan Community Church what Easter means to him?
“Easter for me makes me think about why we are here, when Jesus came back for us.”
Just to briefly write – it is believed that Jesus was crucified on Holy Friday after being betrayed by one of his disciples Judas Iscariot for thirty pieces of silver and that after his death Jesus returned to life on the Sunday – Easter remembers his death and resurrection. As we all know those chocolate Easter Eggs have been on the shelves in supermarkets since January just waiting to be bought and devoured. The Easter egg some say symbolizes the empty tomb of Jesus after his resurrection others argue that the Easter egg was a practice created by Christians to remember the crucifixion as they would paint the eggs red to symbolize the blood lost by Christ.
Are people still religious?
Acccording to the Office for National Statistics (2011) in England and Wales 59.3% of people identified as being Christian, 4.8% identified as Muslim, and 25.1% of people identified as having no religion. Additionally 1.5% identified as Hindu, 0.8% identified as Sikh, 0.5% identified as Jewish, 0.4% identified as Buddhist and 0.4% identified with other religions such as Pagan or Spiritualists. So to some extent the majority of people are still religious or identify with a religion according to this data. I have to say I’m not very Christian in a churchy kind of way but I do believe in God. I’ve never particularly admitted that I’m religious and to most Atheists believing that there is something bigger or some type of higher being might sound absolutely ridiculous but it does give me a sense of faith, spirituality or hope.
I asked Lawrence Bradley about the importance of faith;
“In my own opinion I do feel it’s important as it guides you through life and points you in the right direction. I am personally a more spiritual being following my own meditation and reflection. I’ve noticed a change in my wellbeing from attending Illuminate.”
(Illuminate is a non-religious reflective weekly meeting at the Birmingham LGBT centre between 5pm and 7pm on Sunday Evenings. http://blgbt.org/centre/illuminate/)
So to conclude for some of us this bank holiday weekend will be about spending time with friends and family whether that will be taking a trip to the beach, going for a meal out or some doing some shopping and for others some of us this weekend will be about religious observance, a visit to a place of worship and to spiritually reflect on our wellbeing – Happy Easter.
Written by Richard Barrie, Schools Development. Birmingham LGBT