Yesterday I had one of those days where memories of my childhood came rushing back to me. It started as I took the Hot Cross Buns out of the bread bin to remind my children they were there (I think we should get a glass bread bin as everything gets forgotten once it is hidden away, still that is a whole other conversation) As I took the buns out I suddenly went back to being about 7 years old, it was Good Friday and my Mum had brought in a whole plate of toasted buns dripping in melted butter for us to share for breakfast. I sat on the floor with my brother eating the buns. As I thought about this memory it made me smile briefly, however I then felt a little bit sad that my focus back then was not on Jesus, I probably knew about Him from school, however in that moment my focus was on eating as many of the tops of the buns before my brother could get to them!
Later in the day yesterday when checking we had all the food we need for the weekend, I was reminded of my first job. I worked in a fish and chip shop, Fridays were always an incredibly busy day of the week with a steady stream of customers throughout the day, carrying on well into the evening. Then came Good Friday, I had never experienced anything like it – from the moment the shop opened we had queues out of the door, this continued until almost everything had sold out. I could not fathom what was going on, when I asked the manager what was going on he simply told me it was traditional to eat fish on Good Friday – but he could not tell me why!
Easter Sunday was another day full of food when I was growing up. We would wake up and find that the Easter Bunny had been, leaving a chocolate egg next to our bed. Every year was the same, I hoped for the Wispa egg with a mug, but every year we would get a quality street egg. We would break open the tomb of chocolate to reveal the treasure that lay inside, sweets sparkling in their colourful wrappers, for my brother that was always breakfast sorted! Later in the day, well around lunchtime we would enjoy a glorious roast dinner of what was my absolute favourite meat, Lamb! what a treat this was and was such a welcome change to the normal Bernard Matthews turkey joint we would often have on a Sunday. We truly savoured every mouthful and then the cat would enjoy the bone!
As I pondered all these things, it brought to focus how ingrained Jesus is in our daily lives and the secular world. Those buns that remind us of the cross that Jesus died upon, the fish that reminds us of Him calling Simon Peter and Andrew the fishermen, inviting them to follow Him and become fishers of Men. We then have the chocolate egg, it reminds us of new life, or of the treasure of the empty tomb, and finally that delicious roast lamb – it reminds us of the ultimate sacrifice – Jesus the lamb of God who died to take away the sins of the world.
I am puzzled that for so many years I took part in these traditions, without really knowing and understanding what it is all about. Even the times I asked questions others around me either did not know or chose not to share the truth of Easter with me. I am sure we all have people around us, who like me back then do not know, could we be the ones to start that conversation? Not to bring Jesus into their lives, we are not able to do that as He is already there, but to point to Jesus and invite them to come and see.
As we enjoy this Easter Season and all the wonderful food we have prepared, let us remember the one it is all about.
Jesus said “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty”
May we too choose to follow and become fishers of people, we have the Good News, let us use these traditions so ingrained in our world to tell others what Jesus has done for each and every one of us, in that ultimate sacrifice made once for all upon that cross.