Easter stuff — chocolate eggs, hot cross buns, and other paraphernalia — seems to creep into supermarkets earlier and earlier every year. Either that or people seem to notice it earlier and earlier (perhaps trained by The Gruen Transfer to be more alert to the operation of market forces).
And while mainstream news media isn’t shy about commenting on this, it’s Christians who often kick up the biggest stink.
But this is ironic. Since the closer the Easter campaign launch gets to Christmas, the closer it gets to all those sermons and conversations we’ve been having about ‘the real meaning of Christmas’ and how you don’t understand the baby Jesus without looking at the whole course of his life — and especially at his cross and resurrection.
So the very thing we want to insist on theologically — that Christmas and Easter belong together — is the thing that free market forces are making happen. Concretely. On a supermarket shelf near you.
I’m pretty sure this wasn’t what Adam Smith meant by the ‘invisible hand’ of the market. But it’s a great opportunity in my book!