The Easter Parade – April 2017

The Easter Parade – April 2017

My kids are preparing for the annual school Easter Parade this week. It’s one of those fun traditions that’s grown a life of its own. I love the way these events bring together parents and grandparents in a context where kids get to show off their creativity!

But I can imagine some people are disturbed that yet another Christian celebration has ‘fallen victim’ to the forces of secularism. I’ve some sympathy for this point of view. Then again, removing Christian elements from celebrations like Easter and replacing them with new meaning (and imagery) is exactly what we should expect from our secular culture.

It’s simply unrealistic to expect secular Australia to embrace Easter
like us Christians. Why would they?

So then, what do we do with events like a seemingly innocuous Easter Hat Parade for example?

Do we boycott? Do we make our kids wear a replica crown of thorns as a silent protest? Or is it possible to participate along with everyone else without either caving-in to or endorsing the underlying secular agenda?  Personally I think the latter option is possible and preferable.

But let me be clear – I’m not thrilled at what has become a banal, feel-good celebration of nothingness. But I choose to tolerate these bunny-themed festivities with good grace because Easter is still on the agenda. While it lasts, this is still the ‘Easter Hat Parade’.

Of course a time is coming when the ‘Easter’ element will be removed. Someone, somewhere will claim Easter  ’causes offence’ (the greatest of all sins in secular culture). Then, claiming to know what’s best, these self-appointed storm-troopers of tolerance will impose their surprisingly monochrome version of ‘diversity’… a brand of diversity so insecure and hyper-sensitive that Jesus must be excluded to protect peoples’ feelings…

… But we’re not there yet… not quite, anyway. However when the time does come for us Christians to endure ridicule and exclusion, let’s not be surprised or vindictive. Consider how graciously our Saviour bore His crown of thorns before being crowned with resurrection glory.

So for what it’s worth – and for now – my encouragement is to ‘run with’ with events like an Easter Hat Parade and to enjoy them for what they are… but let’s do so wisely.

Let’s take seriously our responsibility as a Christian community to equip and educate our young people about the original Easter Hat Parade… that moment when God displayed His wisdom to the world through His crucified Christ… the One who bore the crown of thorns for us and for our salvation… an event so ugly, so brutal, so evil… yet so beautiful all at once.

“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us
and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 1 John 4:10

As this Easter season approaches, may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

Dougal Michie.


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