Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Bunny going cheap.

Sooner or later we had to get to the Easter Bunny!  Since they were going cheap in a shop today I'm afraid there are now three of them in my fridge!  So that the rooster, the cow and the bunny ... I suppose I'll have to find the Easter chick to complete the farmyard?  Where on earth did the bunny come from and how is he (or she) connected to the Easter story?
The rabbit (and the hare) are pre-Christian symbols of fertility.  They are mentioned in German literature in the sixteenth century and two centuries later sugar rabbits were being made.  Somehow the Easter bunny has become associated with a basket of Easter eggs ... the link with the Christian story is very vague!  But the chocolate is good.
Lent is a time for reflection and study ... so six churches in south Belfast gather together for a major series of talks.  The group is called "Faith Seeking Understanding" and includes Saint Brigid's (Catholic), Saint John's Malone (Anglican), Saint Nicholas (Anglican), McCracken Memorial (Presbyterian), Windsor Presbyterian and Belfast South Methodist.
This year we're going round each other's churches and considering different aspects of healing.  Since I'm the chair this year I'll be introducing each evening and leading the service while one of my colleagues does the address.  As part of this the speaker will interview a lay person who has experience in their particular topic area.
Tonight the minister of Saint Brigid's spoke in Saint Nicholas' and the guest was Dame Nuala O'Loane.  I thoroughly enjoyed the evening and found the sermon very interesting.  Eddie had the difficult job of being first and having to introduce the topic - he did the theological and biblical background to healing.
Meanwhile back at the rectory I'd left the voice recorder running!
It seems that sometimes when I'm out Eliot barks and disturbs the neighbours.  Of course, tonight wasn't a great test because we're dog-sitting and I suspect the company keeps him quiet.  And so it was.  Three hours of "silence" on the recording!
I assume he simply lay in his basket and slept!  I'll record him again when he's on his own to see if that makes a difference.  This photograph was taken just as I was about to go out.  At least I don't have to dread meeting the neighbours tomorrow morning!

 Set our hearts on fire with love of thee,
O Christ our God,
that in that flame we may love thee with all our heart,
with all our mind,
with all our soul, 
and with all our strength,
and our neighbours as ourselves;
so that, keeping thy commandments, 
we may glorify thee, 
the giver of all good gifts.

Eastern Orthodox.
PS ....
Australian friend sent me this picture of their version .... the Easter Bilby.
This is what Kate says with her picture:
The Bilby is an Australian native animal,the largest member of the family of marsupials called bandicoots. Because they are similar to the rabbit in looks, chocolate Bilbies appear in the shops around Easter. The Cadbury version on the right is more authentic. The one on the left is a cute interpretation

 Isn't it interesting that this symbolism for Easter has surrounded the globe?  Thank you Kate! 

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