The most solemn time for those of us with deep Christian values is upon us once again. We have been reminded this week that, in spite of the rise of secularism, we should not be ashamed of calling ourselves a ‘Christian country’. Our Prime Minister David Cameron, never one to miss an opportunity to appear sincere, has spoken of his own faith, rallying the troops and, I suspect, persuading several potential Ukip voters that they don’t need to vote for them in a few weeks time because his party are still right-wing enough for anyone who wants to see a return to public crucifixions. Yes, it is Easter once more, and on this particular day it seems right and proper for us all to meditate upon the true meaning of these three days, to ensure that our Christian values might endure. So how should we prepare ourselves for this special time?
I would firstly remind people to make sure that they hook up their Elddis Supersirroco 4-berth as per the dealer’s instructions. Nobody wants to see their prize caravan suddenly detach from their 4×4 and watch helplessly in their rear view mirror as it causes a multiple vehicle pile-up. Can you imagine how long it would take for the emergency services to deal with the consequences? It would cause delays for several hours, and nobody wants to be responsible for that unnecessarily. It would be unlikely that your pride and joy would be in any fit state to continue, having been hit by several cars and an articulated lorry, and your holiday weekend would, essentially, be ruined, leaving you with the unenviable task of trying to find other ways of boring your children into a coma for three days. And apart from that, it could also end up killing someone.
If, however, you have been prudent and ensured the safety of whatever long item you might be towing, I do urge you to overcome any niggling doubts you may have about leaving home this Easter, and ‘get traditional’. Who doesn’t enjoy bundling three children into a car and heading off to some godforsaken moor or seaside town and then spending several hours in forty miles of standing traffic, while listening to an old Steely Dan CD on a loop trying to get there? As Our Lord said, (I think) ‘patience is a virtue’. When your children begin to ask, a little less than ninety seconds after you have set off, ‘Are we there yet?’, an enquiry that gets ever louder and more desperate with each passing minute, you can turn around and invoke your faith: ‘Jesus Christ! No! Now shut up!’ before turning to your partner and snarling ‘Just give them that sodding bag of Haribo’s out of the glove compartment, will you!’
You will, of course, be on a kind of pilgrimage and, if you plan your route carefully, you can follow in the footsteps of Our Lord up the M1 with your very own ‘Twelve Service Stations Of The Cross’ (if not downright p*ssed off!). If I were you, however, I would miss out the first of these (London Gateway, northbound); by then you will only have been travelling for six hours from your home in Barnet, and everybody likes to feel they have got somewhere before that first refreshment break. So I would suggest you make your first spiritual break at Newport Pagnell Services, and then religiously stop at each one until you reach the Moto at Woolley Edge, just before you hit the car park which is the M62 westbound. By that time, you will be totally bankrupt, having spent over £80 at each of the stations on two teas, three coca colas and five packets of crisps. And, more importantly, by this time you would probably rather be willingly crucified than get back in your car. And this is just about the time when your middle child realises that he has left his favourite toy at home and begins pleading with you to go back and get it. It wasn’t only Our Lord who wept!
No Christian would feel like Easter means anything without understanding the meaning of sacrifice. Why else would you spend several hours in an aircraft hangar that also handily doubles for a Tesco superstore in an effort to obtain the main symbol of Easter: a chocolate egg. Or, more correctly, as many chocolate eggs as the limit on your credit card will allow. One is never enough, is it? And who doesn’t enjoy seeing their little ones on Easter Sunday, their cheeky faces smiling, happy and smeared in brown melted chocolate right up to that moment when………they are each violently sick all over your three piece suite, and you then begin to shout and blame them for eating all that chocolate you yourself have just given them. It may, however, just give your wife that perfect excuse she needs to drag you off to the local retail park to spend several hours in DFS looking for a new sofa and chairs.
The perfect Easter, and our country can rest assured that its traditional Christian values are as strong as ever.
Oh, and apparently some bloke called ‘Jesus’ died around this time of year too.