So Easter is to blame for the nation’s financial problems then. Well, at least the time we take off is. A stack of high-powered people in suits appeared on TV over the weekend bemoaning the loss of business because we had all stopped working.
The country had the gall to celebrate Easter and – in a shocking disregard for the nation’s economy – we had two Bank Holidays close together. Apparently we lose something like £2.3 billion productivity for each day we stop working and it’s just not good enough, said the important people.
They claimed it would be better if we did away with these completely wasteful extra days off and just worked. After all, the nation’s finances are in a hole and it needs people to slog and slog some more until everything’s better again.
A broadcaster whispered quietly that Germany has many more Bank Holidays and its economy doesn’t seem to be in such a pickle. That was quickly shrugged off as not applying in our case. Of course it doesn’t. What a silly idea.
I suppose the biblical concept of Sabbath doesn’t apply either then. The idea of learning to rest regularly in order that we can be more healthy; more in tune with God … and because of those things almost certainly better employees and employers.
The thing is, I don’t remember Jesus ever saying, “I have come that you might have work and have it more abundantly.” Life in all its fullness is not only about work and productivity.
Jesus modelled taking time off and walking away from the people who were demanding a piece of him. When leaders demanded that he perform to their satisfaction, he confounded their expectations. When the crowds shouted for miracles he refused.
But, he responded graciously to people who were broken and in desperate need. To those who had nothing he gave himself. Ultimately he gave his life – much more than just his time and energy – to set the whole world free.
In God’s economy Jesus was spent out, saving for the love of God, which never fails.
That’s the point of Easter and that’s why it’s worth £5 billion and more to remind ourselves. Far from losing out as a nation by taking two Bank Holidays over a weekend, there is so much to gain from reminding ourselves of this extraordinary love that never fails, never runs out, never gives up on us.