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.
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!
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.
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!