We started the so-called silent week today, one that was anything but silent.
I grew up with glossy pictures, those small ones you can put inside your Bible, and of course Jesus always looked Scandinavian. I have seen a few films too and they are just as glossy.
The Romans seemed more reasonable than they were and even the Jews appeared to be mild, even though they must have been scared that Jesus was going to mess things up. They weren’t exactly at peace with the emperor, but they had established some sort of understanding between themselves and Herod. If Jesus was proclaimed as a political king, as the understanding probably was at the time, they must have thought he would replace the corrupt priesthood.
What happened later when the Romans realized that the Christians were not a Jewish sect also confirmed a fear they may have had, that the fragile peace with the Emperor would break.
My point is that it was a brutal world. The Norwegian Easter tradition may seem morbid and violent, but maybe it was in Jerusalem 2000 years ago too. But on the other hand it may not have been a good strategy to show us a film where Stephen King wrote the script and Steven Spielberg directed it.
One Norwegian Easter tradition is reading crime novels and watching crime series on TV. I suspect this will eventually disappear because there is too much of it now. I used to like it, and may get back to it, but I’m saturated. I wonder what a realistic film of Jesus at the end of his life would look like. I suspect it would be pretty gory. To some of the people watching Jesus it was probably entertainment, as a good murder story is to Norwegians today.
We also have a tradition with chicken. The Easter Bunny is present, but is less common as that has been recently imported (I think it is mostly British and German as a European tradition). My daughter had an Easter egg hunt with her school, which is very unusual. That’s not a tradition we have, but apparently it’s coming.
It is Palm Sunday today and after the church service there was the traditional “church coffee.” We had to settle for just coffee as we can’t eat those delicious pastries and cakes containing milk and gluten. My daughter took part in an Easter workshop and she brought these two very unique chickens home. This is starting to be a house full of quirky girls.
We do have a very delicious Easter tradition I really can apply myself diligently to, and that’s candy. We eat candy throughout the holiday, and they have some very strange varieties that my daughter likes. I’ve told you about jelly people (our version of the bears). My daughter also like jelly alligators, basket shoes, fish (both sweet and sour), marshmallow mushroom, fried egg and teeth, sour lips etc. Personally I like licorice and I’m trying to figure out why my wife doesn’t like it. She really doesn’t know what she’s missing. We all miss chocolate. We tried milk free chocolate once. That is some of the most disgusting food I have ever eaten. I don’t think it was meant for human consumption. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’d rather ask my wife to make chitlins.
To most Norwegians Easter is mostly about candy, crime and spring. This is when many start their season at their country house and/or get the boat ready for the season. As we are a bit short on country house, boat and just about everything else I”ll try to find some inspiration from the Bible this Easter. The priest today talked about the woman who anointed Jesus Matthew 26: 6-13. That leads to the interesting question, what can we give?
Time seems to be the most valuable today. That’s what we don’t like to give to others. I am only speculating of course, but I think Jesus knew for a long time that he was going to die. He was running out of time and it must have been hard being burdened with dense disciples. There are clear indications that he didn’t understand everything, but I believe he knew how this was going to end. The fact that he had all the emotions any human has makes this even more powerful.