Making All Things New

"Behold, I make all things new."
~Revelations, 21:5

      On the first Sunday following the first full moon on or after March 21, the Christian feast day of Easter is celebrated.  In the first centuries of Christianity, Easter and Whitsuntide were probably the only feasts celebrated by the followers of Christ.  But once the church was liberated from the restrictions of Roman persecution, and legally recognized, Christian feast days were gradually increased and celebrated on a wider scale.
      The word Easter is of Saxon origin, being derived from Estera, a Saxon goddess to whom sacrifices were offered at about the same time as the Passover was commemorated.  How a clearly pagan holiday transformed into the holiest feast day of the Christian faith has much to do with the ingenious conversion strategies of the early Christian church.
     During the second century A.D. Christian missionaries spread out north of Rome, to other regions of what is now Europe.  Whenever possible they tried to quietly integrate and transform non-Christian practices into ceremonies that were in accord with those of Christian doctrine.  Aside from being a subtle way to spread the new religion, there was another, very practical, reason for implementing this strategy.  At the time, new Christians were often severely oppressed.  By not participating in the pagan ceremonies of the day they became obvious and easy targets for persecution.  However, if a Christian rite was celebrated on the same day as a pagan one (and if the worshiping style was similar) then the new converts might live and thus convert others.
     Today, Easter is the English name for the festival of the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.  This feast is considered by those of every Christian denomination to be the most solemn of all  holy days and is the keystone of the religion's hope and faith.  


Sending good thoughts of blessings, joy and Love to all good and kindred souls.


terricheney said...

What a lovely post to find on Easter Sunday! We had a simple Passover on Friday night which really set the tone for the whole of this awesome holy week end.

Tracey McBride ~ Frugal Luxuries® said...

Thank you so much my kind friend! I'm looking forward to reading about your celebrations.
You always inspire me in so many ways.

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