Easter, like Christmas, often loses it’s true meaning to all the hype surrounding it. Easter eggs, hot cross buns, bunnies, and so on… It’s so easy to forget to real importance of this weekend. Justin and I went to church on Good Friday, and the message was truly inspirational: Nothing we do can make God love us more, HE JUST DOES! There is nothing we can do to “earn” his love, and only our sinful nature separates us from God. The message we heard on Friday touched our hearts, and renewed our spirits.
As many of you following this blog know, we move around a lot. We are currently in South Africa, due our recent wedding, and waiting on work visas for our next teaching job in Asia. Before I left South Africa, I attended Hillsong Church in Century City. I took there Justin for the first time two years ago, for the Christmas service. This year we are back in Cape Town, and attending this church again while we are here. The Easter line up at the church has been amazing!
Today is Resurrection Sunday, and we will be attending a Worship Session at Hillsong with a very special friend, Tarrin. We went to High School together and she was a brilliant Maid of Honor at our wedding. This girl and I go way back, and I love that we will be attending tonight’s worship session together!!
Hillsong Church, Cape Town
We have to arrive early to find parking, and then stand in a queue to get into the church, but we still can’t resist coming back every week. The pastors are amazing, and the messages always leave us wanting more.
Besides church this weekend, I was excited to introduce Justin to some traditions that I grew up with around this special Holiday time. In our house, we never eat red meat on Good Friday. Instead, we eat mainly pickled fish and hot cross buns. Although this is more of a Catholic tradition, my family brought us up this way, so I like to stick to this tradition. We eating fish as an alternative to red meat out of respect to Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.
Pickled Fish is an Easter Tradition
“On Good Friday, many South Africans indulge in pickled fish oblivious as to where the tradition comes from. Some simply follow the accepted custom because it was passed down by their parents. Others prepare this delicacy because they consider eating meat on Good Friday as “unholy”. Whatever the reason, the spirit of the pickled tradition is as alive as the aromatic smell of masala, spices, and fried fish that fill numerous homes”
Hot Cross Buns
In many historically Christian countries, buns are traditionally eaten hot or toasted during Lent. My family buys them on the Thursday before Good Friday, and most of us can’t resist tearing into the buns before Friday arrives. Soft and delicious… who can resist!? I was excited to buy some so that Justin could try them for the first time. Last year he introduced me to S’mores, Pumpkin Carving, Halloween, Trick-or-Treating, Tail-Gating, and Thanksgiving. This year I have had the opportunity to introduce him to Hot Cross Buns, Pickled Fish, and good old South African wine tasting. Well, not in that order, but you get the picture!
First Hot Cross Bun
The cross on the bun stands as a symbol of the crucifixion. Sharing a hot cross bun with another is said to ensure friendship throughout the coming year, particularly if “Half for you and Half for Me, Between us two shall goodwill be” is said at the time. Because there is a cross on the buns, some say that they should be kissed before being eaten.
I love my hot cross buns with butter (plenty of it) and a slice of cheese.
My mother-in-law would be proud!!!!
And then finally, we are eating Easter Eggs because that is WHAT WE DO!
Easter is the perfect excuse to eat tons of chocolate, and our minister said that the calories don’t count today, so I’m taking his word for it! Tomorrow we are going to a Easter Monday celebration. Friends, Braai, Eater Egg hunt and egg painting. We are looking forward to a great day!!
Have fun, but don’t forget – Easter isn’t about coloured eggs, candy, cute little bunnies, or even family gatherings. It is about how, 2000 years ago, a real, living man suffered and died for our sins so that we could be forgiven and have new life.