Yesterday we sat outside in the garden – sunshine, family, food – delightful. Today snowflakes are falling. The forecasters predicted it; I didn’t believe them.
Part of our family get-together yesterday was our ‘traditional’ Easter Egg hunt – we hide chocolate eggs in the garden and the grandchildren find them. I wondered about the attitude our teenage (‘I’m an adult!’) grandchildren to a game they first played as young children.
Foolish me. Their enthusiasm to find chocolate still exceeds their desire to be adult. Proved wrong again… There’s still one chocolate egg in the garden that none of us managed to find.
The Easter story constantly challenges belief. Could friends of the dead Jesus believe women who said they had seen angels or the ex-prostitute who claimed she’d seen Jesus alive?
I’ve always had a problem with William Blake’s poem/hymn ‘Jerusalem’:
And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England’s mountain green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England’s pleasant pastures seen?…
Learning it as a teenager, the suggestion that Jesus came to Britain was, to my young Christian mind, heretical. Sometimes I shouted ‘No!’ at the end of each line.
I’ve recently read a couple of articles…
Legend has it that Joseph of Arimathea was Jesus’ uncle. He visited England with his nephew, the teenage Jesus. After Jesus’ death, he brought the Holy Grail – the cup Jesus drank from at the Last Supper – back to England.
Based on this tradition ‘Jerusalem’ now makes sense – even if I don’t believe the legend.
The Bible-narrative presents Joseph of Arimathea as a good, upright, rich, influential man. Risking his reputation he asks Pilate for permission to bury Jesus’ body – and then generously gives his own tomb for Jesus’ burial.
He may not have brought Jesus or the Holy Grail to England – or indeed found hidden chocolate eggs – but he was prepared to ‘come out’ when his faith and belief were challenged.