Monday, January 14, 2013

Getting Hot and Cross about Buns

Facebook friends have been sharing Ken Day's post about the UCA noticeboard at Terrigal reflecting the appearance of 'Hot Cross Buns' in the supermarkets.I had noticed them in February in recent years but January is a classic expansion of the commercial cycle. It fits with AFL shaped chocolate eggs in August, Christmas foods in October etc etc... I like the slogan and the possibility it could start a conversation but I'm still uncomfortable about verbal engagements from a formerly well regarded institution that's now on the sidelines trying to offer commentary.. either way I wondered how we might 'act' differently to draw attention to whether hot cross buns are just part of what Valentine's Day and Australia Day offer retailers or is it a deeper symbol with it's own story. Is there some way communities of faith could react to their early sale to do good and have the conversation at the same time.... I wondered who could be helped in the community from questions being asked... aha!! Then from that authoritative source 'Wikipedia' "In many historically Christian countries, buns are traditionally eaten hot or toasted on Good Friday, with the cross standing as a symbol of the Crucifixion. They are believed by some to pre-date Christianity, although the first recorded use of the term "hot cross bun" was not until 1733. It is believed that buns marked with a cross were eaten by Saxons in honour of the goddess Eostre (the cross is thought to have symbolised the four quarters of the moon);[2] "Eostre" is probably the origin of the name "Easter". Others claim that the Greeks marked cakes with a cross, much earlier.[3] In the times of Elizabeth I of England (1592), the London Clerk of Markets issued a decree forbidding the sale of hot cross buns and other spiced breads, except at burials, on Good Friday, or at Christmas. The punishment for violation of the decree was forfeiture of all the forbidden product to the poor. As a result of this decree, hot cross buns at the time were primarily made in home kitchens. Further attempts to suppress the sale of these items took place during the reign of James I (1603-1625).[4] So what I'm wondering is.. What if lots of communities of faith bought quantities of hot cross buns from their local supermarket and gave them away as part of free meal programs, community helping agency efforts or even to residents of Unitingcare facilities... anything but giving them away with tracts or a lecture... fire a press release if you must but enjoy 'acting differently' and see what happens... whatever!!

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