It’s spring, a time of new beginnings. And as Northern Hemisphere dwellers, we are blessed to celebrate the Easter season when the earth is turning green. The Southern Hemisphere is not so blessed, and I’ve often wondered what symbols they use to explain Easter.
Brazil, for example, lies in the tropics where it’s green all year round. There is no cycle of life and death depicted in the seasons, as there is for us. However, Creation still provides symbols of Easter for our Southern Hemisphere brothers and sisters.
Armin Andreas Hollas , a Lutheran pastor in Brazil, says the Macela Flower is used as an Easter symbol because it blossoms during the season of Lent. Since the plant blossoms only at this time of the year, it is common to find them at the altar. On Palm Sunday, people bring the flowers to be blessed by the pastor or priest.
Southern Hemisphere Christians also use many of the same symbols we do – bunnies, eggs, light, and sun – but they interpret them differently.
“If we take the symbols of spring and fall, there is no way to get to spring without passing through the fall and winter,” Pastor Hollas writes. The signs of spring – bunnies and eggs – lie ahead when the Southern Hemisphere celebrates Easter. This reminds them that the cross comes before the resurrection, and that suffering precedes glory.
The true meaning of Easter is resurrection, and that meaning is the same for both hemispheres of planet Earth.
See you in church, Pastor Eric