“My diet’s going badly. I had eggs for breakfast.” “Scrambled?” “Chocolate creme.”
That joke is made for this time of year – the run-up to Easter when we will celebrate and feast after a time of fasting during Lent.
At least, that’s the tradition: pancakes on Shrove Tuesday on February 18 and then avoiding rich food or a bad habit to concentrate on our spiritual life rather than our physical life .
Shops certainly prepare for Easter, stocking up with chocolate eggs in all sizes and varieties, chocolate bunnies, cakes and toy chicks.
There are craft kits to decorate eggs and make Easter cards, bonnets, baskets, nests and everything else required for a good egg-hunt. Spring is in the air and signs of new life are all around us – good things reminding us to thank a generous loving God because there’s always a spring after a winter.
But before we eat our chocolate eggs, there are hot cross buns.
Before Easter Sunday when we celebrate the miracle of Jesus coming back from the dead, there was his horrible death on Good Friday, nailed to a wooden cross.
In old English, ‘good’ meant ‘holy’.
Holy Friday was when God let his very own son, Jesus, take the punishment for all the wrong things in the world ever, so that we imperfect humans could enter God’s perfect holy presence.
In the Bible, one of the titles for Jesus is the Lamb of God, recognising that Jesus was sacrificed for sin (the wrong things) like people used to sacrifice lambs to pay the price, or take the rap, for sin. There are now chocolate lambs alongside the bunnies and chicks to give us another reminder of God’s love.
The best bit of Easter for me is remembering that God gives me a fresh start every time I mess things up.
All I have to do is say sorry and ask God to keep helping me. God’s love has no limits: he wants everyone to have a joy-filled life with as many fresh starts as we need.
I remember that each time I eat an egg.