AS I am writing this on the afternoon of Easter Day, the sun is shining, daffodils, radiant and yellow, adorn gardens and dinner tables, chocolate is being eaten and eggs rolled in parks, as Christians celebrate the joy of the risen Christ.
Even those who do not adhere to a specific faith are caught up in the spirit of Easter - churches seem fuller, cards and gifts are given, and greetings of ‘Happy Easter’ are exchanged. Somehow, the sense of joy, hope and celebration of the Easter message transcends and encompasses all, in some form or another.
In the same way, everyone, like it or not, is aware of and affected by the big event taking place on Friday in London’s Westminster Abbey - the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Wedding fever has indeed taken over the nation. The day is to be a public holiday, with schools, banks and many workplaces closed. Pubs and other venues, including churches, are hosting events to enable people to gather together and watch the wedding on big screens.
Street parties have been organised, and groups of friends are holding ‘Royal Wedding’ parties in their homes. Red, white and blue are the colours displayed in shop windows, and Union Jack mugs, mats, towels, cakes, boxes and other memorabilia are bouncing off the shelves.
It is tempting to be sourly cynical about it all. True, the commercial hype and media frenzy may be a bit over the top, intrusive and irritating, but if we try to ignore that and focus on the Royal Wedding as a positive chance to join in celebration and unity with others, the Easter effect could still be evident.
Whatever our feelings about the monarchy may be, the sense of community and being “in it” together that is always present in a shared national event like this, gives us a chance to communicate and be with our fellow human beings.
At the wedding at Cana, when Jesus performed his first miracle by turning the water into wine, the steward said: “People generally serve the best wine first, and keep the cheaper sort till the guests have had plenty to drink; but you have kept the best wine till now.” (John, Chapter 2 Verse 10).
However we choose to “celebrate” the Royal Wedding, let us strive to give the best of ourselves, to think about and reach out to others, making Friday a day of joy and celebration for all.