A Theological Thought from Tescos!
For some unbeknown reason I found myself in Tescos the day after Boxing Day. I am pretty sure this was NOT because we needed any sprouts/prosecco/olives/cheesy nibbly things/tempura battered prawns, (and I can’t actually remember why I was there), but I found myself standing in an aisle, in the first aisle in fact, and I came over all peculiar. I felt everso slightly faint and weak at the knees. Dare I say it, I felt shocked! Yes shocked! Had I missed something? Was I suffering from amnesia? Had the whole Christmas thing become too much?
You see, the thing that shocked me, the thing that pulled me up short, was not the reduced wrapping paper or cards, or the bargain elf jumpers and slippers (tempting though they were), it was the chocolate. And not any old chocolate. It was the assorted chocolate in various shapes, wrapped in multi-coloured paper. The thing that shocked me was the row upon row upon row of chocolate Easter eggs! Easter eggs! In December! On the shelves! The day after Boxing Day!
I left the shop without buying a thing.
A few days later I realized, from reading the press, that other people felt as shocked as I did. That made me feel slightly better.
However, recently, I have been thinking about it once more. I know it’s a marketing attempt to get us to buy more stuff in readiness for the next big seasonal event (and I did find myself thinking how handy it would be for me personally if the harvest supper season could be spread throughout the year!) but maybe there is a tiny bit of theological sense to it.
You see, for it to make any sense, the Christmas/Easter thing has to go together. They are one story. They are part of the same story. And for the story to have any power or relevance today we cannot detach Easter from Christmas. And of course that is what we are prone to do. It’s far more comfortable and less challenging to go all gooey over the birth of a baby than to wrestle with the idea of that baby being God’s son, dying a violent death and defying death by coming back to life, so that we might have eternal life. It’s so much easier to leave the baby in the manger and not think about him again until next year.
So maybe, just maybe, the marketing moguls have stumbled on something. And maybe we too should give it more than a passing thought, as we travel towards spring, through the wilderness of Lent to the joy and exuberance of Easter.
With every blessing,