FROM THE MINISTER

Spring 2019

Dear Friends,

Today in this country I have the feeling that a surprisingly small percentage of the population (and especially of the younger population) is aware of the influence of Christianity on our lives. As we approach Easter I wonder how many would, for example, be able to say why we celebrate this time of the year, what the symbolism of the Easter egg might be, or indeed what the beliefs of Jesus might have been and which he was crucified for.

The very basis of our culture and civilization, our parliament, our monarchy, our legal system, are irrevocably founded upon Christian thinking. It is the context of our lives and values. So much of our art and heritage are Christian, and of course the whole form of our religious life is enclosed within Christianity. It is our religious nationality. We live in Christendom.

Easter is the most important date in the Christian calendar and from it we see the beginning of something new, a change in the world, and one of the formative things in your life and mine. A vast panorama of historical events, the history of thought, art, culture, and social growth, derives from this source. Strands of significance extend back into history, sometimes describing torturous paths, but nevertheless traceable to a cross on a hill, and a promise about our lives even today.

But isn’t that all trinitarianism? What, then, is the significance of Easter to Unitarians? The answer to that question for many of us is that we are influenced by the religion of Jesus, not the religion about him. We remember that Jesus was not crucified for what the Church would make him out to be in the centuries following his death.

He died for what he believed in at the time, what he spoke about and what he taught his disciples. He taught the love of God and of our neighbour, of individual responsibility, and the forgiveness of sins. The religion of Jesus himself is what continues to influence us today, and is most clearly expressed in the events leading up to Easter and of Easter itself.

 Leicester Unitarians Great Meeting Easter

As we celebrate it again this year, may it be a time to remember its significance, as well as enjoying our chocolate eggs and the Easter bunny.

With good wishes to all chapel members and friends,

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