Food plays an important part in our lives – and in our faith.
Last weekend, members of our three churches gathered to celebrate a meal that was based on a Passover meal.
In sharing in this we were reminded how for thousands of years people of faith have used all their senses, including taste, to tell the story of our relationship with God.
Over the past few days, I have been exploring with our local schools the special foods we have at Easter and how they help us recall the story of Holy Week and Easter.
When I was their age, hot cross buns were something you only saw and tasted at this time of year. They appealed to our senses of taste and smell, as well as sight.
The cross on the top reminds us of the death of Jesus on Good Friday and the spices and shape of the bun also can remind us of the tomb and the burial of his body within it.
Then the Easter egg and the surprises they contain help us to celebrate and enjoy the new life bursting from the tomb, cracking open like an egg with new life bursting out of it.
In church we will use these symbols alongside others in our services – on Good Friday we stand in an ‘empty church’ stripped of all its colour and decoration.
Before a plain cross, we reflect on what the death of Jesus and that cross means to us.
Then on Saturday night we celebrate the new life with a blazing fire from which the Easter candle is lit. It will become a sign to us throughout the year of the light of the risen Jesus shining in the darkness of our world.
The church resounds to the sounds of bells and party poppers and joyful music as we celebrate that empty tomb and the new life that Jesus shows us and shares with us.
All our senses are used to celebrate that life. We then think about how we can use our lives and those senses to share that joy, hope and life with others.
As you bite into a hot cross bun, or unwrap an Easter egg, pause and think about the story they tell and give thanks for those areas of light in your life.
•ST MARY’S CHURCH, Fratton Road, Fratton: services this weekend:
- Good Friday 2pm
- Holy Saturday 8.30pm
- Easter Day 10am