Saturday, 30 March 2013

Jesus is Alive: What's chocolate got to do with it?

Jesus is Alive  What's chocolate got to do with it? 

 John 20:1-18 Easter 2013
You might be expecting a model of the Easter grotto, lots of moss, a few violets and daffs (which probably weren't there) and with a stone rolled away? (Because it was)

Perhaps a dramatic powerpoint grave with carefully positioned grave clothes as if the body had been teleported leaving the clothes to collapse in a heap? (Because they were).
Maybe an angel or two complete with a bemused and grieving disciples? (Yes, They were there alright).
A sunrise, a spring bulb, even an Easter chick as a not-too-subtle symbolism of new life might be unsurprising?
But chocolate?
They didn't even have chocolate in Jesus time.
And Easter eggs are no longer very closely attached to our festive season – you can buy them on boxing day these days. Why chocolate?

Mark 16. Matthew 28. Luke 24. John 20. You can read these eye witness accounts of an experience that changed and shaped the lives of the first disciples; completely transforming them from feeble doubters afraid for their own skins to a group so filled with certainty and zeal that they have changed the world with their message of resurrection. It's all true. You can piece the picture together from their different standpoints just as you do when you read a newspaper article.

But try as you might, you will find – there's no chocolate!

There are some Easter truths hidden in the easter egg though if you think about it. (It's always better to think about it yourself than to read a long sanctimonious sermon) – think about this.....
(- volunteer to eat a cadburys crème egg in one mouthful)
  • There's much more to resurrection than you can handle. At least in one sitting.
    (how about trying to get THIS in your mouth instead – BIG Egg)
  • You have to break it up to eat it. Take one aspect of resurrection at a time and savour it. Death defeated. Sin forgiven. Old lives can be changed. Pain sanctified.
    (smash it and eat some)
  • You can't keep chocolate without eating it: it will go white and inedible. Resurrection becomes just a “happy ending” if it is just kept as a memento of the past. You have to live the new life out. In the real world.
    (give some to children to hold tightly)
  • If you hold it close it will soften and melt, covering every part of your life with its sweetness. (If you don't, it won't). It's best to do this in your mouth! Resurrection should be on your tongue – Jesus is alive, so tell everyone you know.
    (Lick it off!)
  • It will become part of your body – Resurrection life fills you with life, energy and power to serve others....
(put on plates and pas it round)
  • It is so good that you will have to share it with those around you.
That's what Matthew. Mark, Luke, John, Mary, Billy, Fred, Sue, Pam, George, Tracey, Jason – in fact everyone who has ever realised the truth about Jesus has discovered.

So we can all celebrate at Easter that God loved the world so much that he gave his only son so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but have everlasting life. Sweet! 

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