At Easter, we have an opportunity to step back and kneel before Jesus at the Cross. This is the best story of all. God became a human being and took on our sin through the way of sacrifice. Because Jesus was obedient to the Father, He defeated death and stands in solidarity with all who suffer in this world. This is why Jesus is so amazing and worthy to be followed. Along side our prompting to remember Jesus at Easter, our culture has developed the tradition of Easter goodies – Easter eggs, Easter bunnies, Easter chickens…! As followers of Jesus we can certainly enjoy cultural celebrations, although the challenges of aligning this with the Cross are present. My own personal struggles at Easter are about being faced with “the need to consume”. I love chocolate, and so what a great reason to indulge at Easter?
The demand for plenty of chocolate often puts pressure to source basic ingredients cheaply. It is common for children to be involved in farming basic ingredients for chocolate. This has an impact to their education, the cycle of poverty and child trafficking.
My family try our best to source fair trade Easter eggs so we can participate in the cultural experience of Easter, and be reminded of who Jesus is and what he stood for. Fair trade recognises there needs to be a better deal for farmers producing basic ingredients for our chocolate. Fair trade stands for just wages for farmers and producers and higher social and environmental standards in the context of producing a sustainable product and working context. As a consumer, buying fair trade helps the demand of production to also be fair and restrict profiteering. Fair trade says no to child labour.
The balance is living in the grace found at the Cross. All of our choices and interactions both relationally face to face and through the distance of purchasing goods, call for the virtue of lived out grace.
At Easter we have marvellous opportunities to:
- (Fix) our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-3.
- Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy. Proverbs 31:9
- Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Psalm 34:9
Other helpful resources…
- To source fair trade chocolate: http://goo.gl/uOotOK
- Ideas to advocate for change: http://goo.gl/lM0X2e
Perhaps these thoughts may help you to have a more hopeful Easter this year? Grace and peace to you and yours at Easter, Rebecca Hargreaves