25 November 2017



2016
> The Hope of Christmas
> COMPASSION BREAKS DOWN BARRIERS

2015
> Northern Presbytery Moderator Christmas letter
> ANZAC DAWN REFLECTION
> Freedom of Speech or License to Stereotype?

2014
> Advent Hope and Interns
> 200 Years of New Zealand Christmas
> Prayer of the General Assembly 2014
> The Legal High Trade
> REFLECTION ON A JOURNEY
> Giving up for Lent - A Challenge from our Children

2013
> Christmas in the Graveyard
> FAREWELLS
> Mrs Hunters' Tea Party [Hunters Corner named ]
> PERSPECTIVE
> RISKS - HELP US GROW IN FAITH
> EMBRACING DIFFERENCE
> DOING OUR WORK
> 150years Ė We are part of this community

2012
> The Gift of Many People - Seven Years On.
> The Golden Rule - Donít Do or Do?
> WATER, WIND and FIRE
> COUNCIL FOR WORLD MISSION at ST JOHNS
> Signs of Spring
> YOUNG, MESSED UP AND ON THE GAME
> REAL WORLD - AND THE HUNGER GAMES
> The Journey to the Cross - An Easter meditation
> Can Jesus Heal Cancer
> CHRISTIAN HERITAGE in PAPATOETOE

2011
> LIGHT ON THE HILL
> LOOKING FORWARD
> GOOD WORDS
> ALCOPOPS and EXCESS DRINKING
> COMPASSION in ACTION
> Christchurch Reports
> Shattered Illusions, Faithful journeys.
> EARTHQUAKE
> The Windows, Images of Faith - Opening Day

2010
> THE CITY CAN NEVER BE THE SAME
> "The Hope that Comes from Faith"
> SPARKING SPARKIES
> ADVERTISING A NON-GOD!

2009
> PRAYING FOR THE COMMUNITY
> DATES THAT COULD DESTROY
> MERCY, JUSTICE AND LIVING IN GOD'S WORLD
> Warmth in the Frost
> GENEROUS GIVING
> Hunter's Corner - A Dilemma of Publiic Space.
> Easter customs to tell the Story
> Our Mother Tongue God is too Small
> Tragedy at Fox Glacier

2008
> THE BIRTH STORIES OF JESUS
> CONNECTING WITH - FAMILIES IN OUR NEIGHBOURHOOD
> WELL If you want it Quiet ......
> Finding Pearls
> Of Winter fuel and things
> Disaster and Relief Work
> Prayer on hearing the News
> Conflict of Interest
> Practical Christian in the community.
> Who are these Christians?

2007
> We still keep singing the Christmas carols
> Getting our pirorities
> Travelling
> Spring flowers shout that life is not dead.!
> Focusing on the task
> Change
> Real Families
> Water - Source of conflict
> Prayer

2006
> Violence and Children
> Faith and Reason
> PEACETIME AND HOPE
> Playdough and PC
> Violence to Children
> Climbing Everest
> Celebrating the Good things
> THE GNOSTIC GOSPEL OF JUDAS
> Focusing on the Essential
> Living with other Faiths
> SuperVolcanoes and other worrying things

2005
> Advent - Saving the Earth Saving its Peoples
> Halloween - The time of the Saints
> Responding to Terror
> Time of Winter
> Noah - a Story of Conservation
> Off the Tracks
> Moving On and Looking Back
> Tsunami Prayers

2004
> Upside Down Christmas
> From Assembly - Dean Drayton address
> In the Community
> Weaving together the threads
> 150 years of History revisited
> July - Faithfulness
> Getting 150 years in perspective -
> Passion -The Film
> Letter From Niue

2003
> Christmas hope
> Maintenance and Mission
> Annual reports June 2002- June 2003
> Who will come to the Party?
> Time to Change
> Unity is Strength
> Prostitution Laws
> Gone Fishing


Minister's Minutes
April 2009

Easter customs to tell the Story

Easter Day comes on the Sunday [the first day of the week - the new beginning] after the commemoration of the death of Jesus on Good Friday. It is a time of celebration and hope as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus and tell the stories of the empty tomb, and the appearances of Jesus to his disciples [on the beach cooking fish for breakfast, in the garden and along the road]. Our Easter symbols point to these stories, but so many have no idea of the why of our Easter customs. This Easter use the opportunity of the Easter symbols we see around us to pass on the story of hope and new life for the world to the children - grandchildren, nieces and nephews, neighbours etc. Tell them the real Easter story of Jesus and explain to people of other faiths as you give them an egg or a bun why we have them at this time of the year.

The Easter bunny is a pagan symbol which really is only a commercial item, not a Christian Easter symbol. The chocolate rabbit or Easter bunny had its origins in pre-Christian times when the rabbit or hare was the most fertile animal our forebears knew and therefore symbolized abundant new life in the spring season. In New Zealand where rabbits have multiplied greatly much to the farmers' and conservationists dismay, creating havoc with our vegetation, the rabbit as a symbol of new life rather loses its cutting edge.

So think about giving the children Easter Eggs.
Easter eggs are found in all Christian communities. The egg symbolizes new life. In medieval times eggs were given at Easter to all the servants. Apparently King Edward 1 of England (1307) had 450 eggs boiled before Easter, dyed or covered with gold leaf and distributed to the members of the royal household on Easter Day.

In recent years, artificial eggs are being made in sizes larger than that of the natural egg and mostly of chocolate, usually stuffed with sweets or other gifts. This continues the European custom when emperors and other rulers used to distribute gold-plated eggs filled with gifts to special people after the Easter service. Foil on the eggs also reflects this sort of precious gift.
You can buy chocolate eggs or you can make your own Easter eggs with hard boiled eggs and decorate the shells. Maybe you will want to hold back on the gold leaf!

If you have hollow chocolate eggs, the hollowness symbolises the empty tomb and the egg itself new life. If you have marshmallow eggs, the centre is the new life which comes after the shell is broken.
If you are going to stick to the symbolism then EASTER EGGS are eaten on EASTER SUNDAY [not before!!!!] to celebrate the new life of the resurrection. [I'm sure they can continue to be eaten after this]

Hot cross buns are another Easter custom. They are supposed to have originated in 1361 at Saint Albanís Abbey where monks distributed them to the poor, and according to tradition a hot cross bun made on Good Friday will not go bad or mouldy if stored in the right conditions. The nursery rhyme "Hot cross buns, one a penny two a penny" came from street vendors selling these buns.
For Christians the spices signify the spices of the wise men and Mary's anointing of Jesus with the spices used to prepare a body at death and the cross the symbol of the death and resurrection of Christ. Make real hot cross buns with the children when they visit and tell them why we have hot cross buns - they can be eaten on Good Friday the day of Jesus' death.

We have forgotten the symbolism of the days when the buns and eggs are eaten because the supermarkets are full of them weeks beforehand, but sometimes it is good to remember why they are eaten on a particular day as well as the symbolism of the eggs and buns.
This is an ideal time to find the stories of Jesus' life death and resurrection in our world and tell them to other people, and specially our children.
May you be encouraged to share in word and deed your faith this Easter.
Christ has died! Christ is risen ! Therefore this world has hope.


Rev. Margaret Anne Low

 


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