Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Bunny and the Lamb

In just over a week will be the Easter weekend. For most Australians, Easter means:

  • Hot Cross Buns - these days available in the shops shortly after Christmas. My family loves them - though my daughter only likes the nontraditional ones with the chocolate chips.
  • Easter Eggs - mostly chocolate but some of candy or other concoctions. The Supermarket aisles are stacked high with these spheres of chocolate coated air in glitzy coloured foil wrap.
  • The Easter Bunny - many children believe this bunny is the source of all those Easter Eggs. Normally portrayed as small white rabbit with fluffy tail and floppy ears though I had to chuckle at the 6 foot high Bunny with a boomerang in Rise of the Guardians that looked more like a macho kangaroo and spoke like Hugh Jackman.
  • That perennial favourite - an extra long long-weekend. Four days in which families often go camping or visit family.
  • And School Holidays.
For others Easter is the end of Lent and/or the celebration of Jesus' death 2000 years ago and his resurrection some days afterwards. 

I wonder what Easter means for you?

For me it is a time of reflection and wonderment - that the incarnated divine Son would die for me. It tells me how much God loves and values me. It reminds me that I have new life through Jesus, that He can and will mend the brokenness inside of me and that He is a present and powerful.

Easter is an intensely personal. It is both sobering as I think of Jesus on the cross on Good Friday - and exhilarating as I remember that He is Alive - that He has conquered sin (human brokenness) and death itself.

Easter has cosmic as well as personal implications.  It is the turning point of the Story of God and therefore the story of our world. Through the eyes of faith, we can see that Easter is the very crux of history. The Bible tells us that story. Yes, it tells many other things about history, morality, worship, spirituality and reality but running through its pages is a love story - God's love for his broken creation - for his broken people. 

It is a simple story - the eternal triune God created the cosmos. He created humans to care for his creation and to be his friends. But the very first humans rebelled against God, deciding to go their own way so that now they and their world became broken. Instead of destroying us and starting again, God decided to rescue us - through calling a people to show who He was and what he wanted. And then He came, the incarnated Son who died in our place. On the cross, the Son won a decisive victory against death and all evil. He has entrusted his people who believe and follow Him with a mission - of not just living lives worthy of Him in faith and love but of taking His message of freedom and love to the furthest corners of the earth - and to the person next door. One day He will make new the whole cosmos and make a home for His people. 
Easter is not just for me or you - it's for everyone.



The Lamb That Was Slain

A flower nodding in the crevice of a rock
New growth after rain.
The sun’s blushed fire climbing above the horizon
A Lamb that was slain.

Praise God who brings beauty, life and hope
In the midst of the world’s cloying darkness.
A world reclaimed at Golgotha, Skull Rock
By the Lamb that was slain.

Before the sun’s fire ignited and
Craggy cliffs rose above the ocean waves,
Before humanity’s ancient parents stumbled
And brother shed brother’s blood,
Father God planned a people reclaimed.

A new perspective, a life regained
Admitting failure, weakness and pain.
We take on His life, walking in faith
Receiving the Spirit’s renewing fire
Sent out by the Lamb that was slain.

The Lamb’s restored people join hands
In prayer and praise.
An emaciated child is given bread and hope
Broken lives are knitted together again
And a message of love and new life spreads like soft rain
Hands, Feet and Heart of the Lamb that was slain.

Earth trembles, nation wars against nation
Tribal enmities ignite, hate inflames
Tall towers and silvery screens pursue greed and fame
The lamb’s people divided, too often lead astray
Awaiting the coming of the Lamb that was slain.

Fruit redolent on the healing tree
Life giving water flowing through brilliant bridal city
Father’s noon-day light shining on pearl and diamond
Spirit healing, tears wiped and death disappearing
The Lamb as Lion victorious reigns.

Praise God who brings beauty, life and hope
In the midst of the world’s cloying darkness.
A world reclaimed at Golgotha, Skull Rock
By the Lamb that was slain.

Jeanette O’Hagan ©2002, 2014

Wishing you all a happy and blessed Easter.

"Easter Egg image courtesy of  sattva / FreeDigitalPhotos.net"
"Hand heart & cross image courtesy of  luigi diamanti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net"
Jeanette has practiced medicine, studied communication, history and theology and has taught theology.  She is currently caring for her  children, enjoying post-graduate studies in writing at Swinburne University and writing her Akrad fantasy fiction series.  She is actively involved in a caring Christian community. You can find her at her Facebook Page or webiste  JennysThread.com .

12 comments:

  1. Thanks for that great Easter post Jenny. It's easy to think of Easter as a time for Christians to celebrate, but as you remind us, it's God's love story for the whole world. I really like your poem too. Thanks for helping me to reflect on the Lamb that was slain. God Bless.

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    1. Thanks Nola - and thanks for helping tweak the poem :)

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  2. Thanks, Jeanette. Easter is a time of reflection and wonderment for me too. Just yesterday though, I sat reading an 'Easter catalogue' from a large supermarket chain. There were pages of things advertised that we are apparently supposed to buy for Easter, including all sorts of toys, games and books for our children and grandchildren (as well as Easter eggs, no doubt). And there, almost covered up, I saw one little Golden Book mentioning the name of Jesus on the cover. Yay! At least it was there. It's particularly hard though to keep the focus on the real meaning of Easter here in Sydney, with the Easter Show at the same time, as well as school hols.

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    1. Hi Jo-Anne
      It is sad how commercialization overshadows the rich meaning of special days Easter and Christmas but yay for the one little Golden Book :)

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  3. A lovely poem Jeanette. So sad that many do not even realize Easter is the Lamb that was slain...His-story. It's the great reminder that we all need to embrace.

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  4. Thanks Rita. We are His ambassadors - so Easter is a time of opportunity too :)

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  5. Great post Jenny. Loved the way you put across that 'simple story' - it was beautifully told. Your poem was very well wriiten too. Thanks for the reminder of the most significant event in History. Aren't we blessed to be part of that awesome ongoing story of God?

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    1. Thanks Anusha. We are indeed blessed to part of God's story. :)

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  6. That's a great post, Jenny, summing up the message of Easter, and what a beautiful poem.

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  7. Beautiful post, Jeanette. I loved your poem. It's a poignant reminder that His story is everyone's story. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Happy Easter.

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