Friday, April 6, 2012

Easter is not spring time

In North America Easter occurs in spring time and so one sometimes hears parallels drawn between the new life of Easter Sunday with the new life occuring in nature (e.g. cute little puppy dogs). But are such parallels helpful and appropriate? [Not just because in Australia it is Autumn!]

I am preparing a sermon for Easter sunday, based on 1 Corinthians 15. I was reading the relevant section of Karl Barth's Dogmatics in Outline and found the following passage particularly interesting and relevant.
Easter is the breaking in of a new time and world in the existence of the man Jesus, who now begins a new life as the conqueror, as the victorious bearer, as the destroyer of the burden of man’s sin, which had been laid upon him. In this altered existence of His the first community saw not only a supernatural continuation of His previous life, but an entirely new life, that of the exalted Jesus Christ, and simultaneously the beginning of a new world. 
(The efforts to relate Easter to certain renewals, such as occur in creaturely life, say in spring or even in man’s awakening in the morning, and so on, are without any strength. Upon spring there inexorably follows a winter and upon the awakening a falling asleep. We have to do here with a cyclic movement of becoming new and old. But the becoming new at Easter is a becoming new once for all.)
Karl Barth, Dogmatics in Outline, page 113


  1. Puppy dogs in North America may be a distraction ... but it's also spring in Palestine, which clearly shaped the imagery of Passover - which has in turn shaped the imagery of Easter, no?

  2. Spring "clearly shaped" the imagery of Passover? This is a new hypothesis to me. Can you explain?

    I recently read an article on The Huffington Post about the origins of Easter Egg coloring etc.(

    I think the real shaping comes more from Pagan rituals than Passover.