On redefining Easter

When he eventually leaves office, David Cameron will have gone down in history as the Prime Minister who redefined a word whose meaning most of us thought was agreed and understood. Had been for as long as any of us could remember and then some.

But Mr Cameron has changed it.


I know the English name has pagan roots (the French-speaking world is better served by the word Pâques which connects with the Jewish Passover and there is an important link between the crucifixion of Jesus and the ancient Passover ceremony).

But if you are going to write an article about Easter in a Christian publication, it would be good to say more than the following:

 Easter is all about remembering the importance of change, responsibility, and doing the right thing for the good of our children.

Or this:

 I hope everyone can share in the belief of trying to lift people up rather than count people out. Those values and principles are not the exclusive preserve of one faith or religion. They are something I hope everyone in our country believes.

That after all is the heart of the Christian message.

Well Mr Cameron’s article (you can read the whole thing here) has not played well with everyone.

Rather than put Mr Cameron on the spot, a friend of mine has had this to say:

To which I replied,

And then he said,

So there you go.

This weekend is an opportunity for Christians to recall and review the apostolic core of our faith as Paul wrote about it in 1 Corinthians:

 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third dayaccording to the Scriptures,

It’s easy to lose sight of that. Or forget to talk about it. And when we do that we should not be surprised if other people – even Prime Ministers – miss the point.

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