I think it was soon after Christmas that I started to see the first Easter Eggs in the shops! Easter isn’t that far away in fact and it is at about its earliest date, March 27.
It is all governed by the seasons of the Moon and its phases, so it does fluctuate.
There is also the peculiarity that different parts of the Christian Church celebrate Easter at different times and there is a movement urging to unify the date and even possibly to fix it as the same day every year, like Christmas.
I doubt that will happen, but to have the same date for all Christians wouldn’t be a bad thing.
It does mean though that we are now in the season of Lent which began with Ash Wednesday on February 10.
For our church and others around, Lent is often a time of sombre preparation before Easter.
The story from the Bible is often associated with Lent about Jesus fasting in the desert and being tempted by the Devil.
So giving up things for Lent is a tradition in some circles, like chocolate, with often a sub plot of saving the money you would have spent and donating to a charity.
Another slant is that it is a time to think more seriously about our faith and so there are often extra courses put on like the one we are planning to start later this month at the Boship Lions Hotel on a Tuesday evening.
There, and already in our house groups we are running the video based Christianity Explored course, a good quality but accessible in depth look at matters of faith and belief. We want to encourage as many people as possible to join us.
The fact that the shops are stocking the chocolate eggs so far in advance of the event is an example of how we are a consumer driven society.
The retail trade isn’t so hot on fasting and denial!
They want to jump over the Lenten season and go straight to the chocolate fest.
But if you are observant you will notice on the shelves at Tesco, Waitrose and Morrisons a ‘Real Easter Egg’ which has been produced for the last few years and each has a copy of a colourful booklet telling the Easter story.
The chocolate is Fair Trade and a donation is made to charity from the sale of each egg.
Another item on the shelves is hot cross buns which in my youth could only be bought on Good Friday, but are now sold all year round.
I wonder how many people munch their buns and ever stop to wonder why there is a cross on them?
So whatever your take on matters of faith there is plenty to get your teeth into!