Today religion is at the fore of my mind. The calender tells us that it is Good Friday, the start of the Easter Weekend.
I was raised within the Church of England branch of Christianity. My family weren't huge church goers but were very moral and religious. So I was brought up with very black and white definitions of right and wrong.
Following my heart I was confirmed into the Church on my 17th birthday. Since then many things have made me question my faith.
I feel that this weekend is another example of how, on a whole, the Christian faith isn't so much a belief as an expectation.
The country seemingly grinds to a halt and the shops alter their trading hours. So you are affected whether or not you believe that Jesus died for our salvation or this this religions festival (much like Christmas) is imposed on you.
I do not wish to be a hypocrite, I have some problems with this:
Why if I don't believe in 'God' do I celebrate Easter?
Why do I abstain from eating flesh on Good Friday?
Why do I feel the need to share Easter Eggs?
Do I teach my boys that Easter is about celebrating the life, death and Ascension of Jesus, when my brain is thinking 'really? Like that could happen!'
I am not dismissing religion, it is a fantastic tool that helps many people cope and offers guidelines on how to live a moral life. Religion is a belief that connect people across ages and races. However, religion is also the crux behind all major conflicts. Just look at the battles in Gaze, and the Muslim/Christian divides (which in my opinion shouldn't exist as for the main part Christians and Muslims share the same basic code and religious texts).
Then again way back when Christianity hadn't yet arrived in Britain the main belief was Paganism (not just one religion but a heading for many) the egg was seen as a symbol of the rebirth of the Earth. Spring was the time when the day's were longer and lighter, we could work on the land and the vegetation around us were coming back to life.
Tradition, dating back to then observes eggs - often chicken - dyed or panted being gifted as a celebration of this new beginning. This has been replace more recently by chocolate eggs in colourful wrappings. So really I shouldn't have problem with this as it pre-dates Christianity.
So Easter time is also a period of 'rebirth' be it for the seasons or of Jesus for his followers.
Eggs are a symbol of this 'rebirth' adopted by the church from more ancient beliefs.
I have no problems with my children learning about the Christian believes (just as well as they will attend C of E school until secondary school. it is my role to introduce them to other religions too. If they choose to believe it will be their choice. I have a mish mash of a belief system. I er towards karma and being a 'good' person as what you put out there comes back three fold. I also find myself drawn to the 'new age' ideals of The Secret and other similar movements which are heading back towards pre-Christian 'Pagan' beliefs.
But overall I believe that is my role to be the best me I can be and to Glitter and Sparkle.
For those of you who celebrate: Happy Easter x