Next week, the AFL will break a century-long tradition when it hosts its first-ever footy match on Good Friday.
The AFL believes scheduling a match on Good Friday will increase support for the annual Royal Children’s Hospital Appeal, but the decision has angered many in the Christian community who want to see the sanctity of the day upheld.
In 2014, former VicTas moderator Dan Wootton wrote a tongue-in-cheek reflection in Crosslight about the inevitable clamour of the crowd for a game on what he described as “the most significant date on the Christian calendar”.
In the UK, Cadbury has found itself embroiled in controversy over its decision to remove the word ‘Easter’ from their annual egg hunt to make the event “accessible to people of all faiths and none”. This has caused consternation amongst members of the Church in England, with one Archbishop accusing the chocolate company of ‘airbrushing’ religion.
Even the British prime minister, and a vicar’s daughter, Theresa May has weighed into the controversy.
“I think the stance they have taken is absolutely ridiculous. I don’t know what they are thinking about frankly,” she said.
Some might note that the Easter egg, like many popular modern icons of Easter, is not Christian in origin. The egg as a symbol of rebirth is a tradition that predates the birth of Christ.
Even allowing for this one chocolate brand is attempting to restore the Christian story back into Easter. The Meaningful Chocolate Company hopes to introduce spirituality into the market with its‘Real Easter Egg’.
Launched in 2010, the Real Easter Egg aims to teach children the message behind Easter by including a 24-page booklet on the Easter story in every box. The egg is made from Fairtrade chocolate and a portion of the sales is donated to charity to support communities in Myanmar, Tanzania and Bangladesh.
On this week’s Friday Forum: does it concern you that Easter is being increasingly divorced from its Christian message? What can Christians do to reverse this trend?