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Feel-good Factor

Loughborough Church Sunderland New Springs - Feel-good FactorChocolate –  some people just can’t go a day without it, they need their daily fix. That rush of endorphins that comes with the melting of the chocolate on their tongue. Below are a few facts about chocolate that might surprise you!

Chocolate Facts

The largest chocolate sculpture ever made was a 10 foot high Easter egg constructed in Melbourne, Australia

Sales of dark chocolate have almost doubled in two years, growing 96 per cent to £85 million.

On average, each person in Britain eats approx. 10.2kg of chocolate per year.

The first chocolate factory in Britain opened in 1657.

J.S. Fry and Sons developed the first solid chocolate bar and it went on sale in 1847. Cadbury Brothers produced their first bar of chocolate in 1849. Both bars would have been made from dark chocolate as milk chocolate was not available until after 1875 when Swiss chocolatier Daniel Peter developed the process for making the sweeter lighter version of chocolate.

Mintel figures presented on shopping say that the UK chocolate market was worth £2.36 billion in 2009 that’s an increase of 5.9% over the 2008 figures.

According to market research completed by Neilsen chocolate sales are up year on year by more than 36%

Approximately 80 million chocolate eggs are sold annually in the UK.

The most popular chocolate egg worldwide is Cadbury’s Creme Egg, they first went on sale in 1971.

Easter chocolate sales make up 10% of Britain’s annual spending on chocolate.

£280million was spent on Easter eggs in the 4 days leading up to Easter 2008.

One of the most expensive eggs on offer in 2006 was the unique Diamond Stella Egg – a chocolate egg laden with diamonds – which came with a £50,000 price tag.

Easter eggs for 2010 went on sale in Tescos on New Years day 2010

Women are responsible for two-thirds of all chocolate sales. They eat around 60% of their purchase and then share the rest. Men make 30% of purchases – but eat it all.

About 500 million of Cadbury’s Crème Eggs, the company’s best-selling Easter line, are produced each year which, if piled on top of each other, would stand 10 times higher than Mount Everest.

People seem to need their fix of chocolate; that feel-good factor. The problem is we keep having to buy more to keep that feeling happening, and at the end of the day it costs us pounds to put on pounds!

I wonder how much we will spend on Easter eggs and chocolate this Easter?

The chocolate companies would have us believe that Easter is all about chocolate, I wonder why they don’t make chocolate crosses?

If you want a real feel good factor, it is the Good News of the Gospel. It isn’t a fix that lasts a few minutes and then disappears, but it lasts for eternity – forever and ever. It doesn’t cost us anything! You can’t buy it, you can’t produce it in a factory, Tesco’s doesn’t stock it on their shelves (maybe someone should have a word with them). It’s not a Kinder Egg with a surprise inside. It’s not something new to catch your attention. It is the free gift of God. It is not that it is without price, in fact it is priceless, it is impossible to understand the cost.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believed in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

John 3:16

The most quoted verse in the Bible, life changing, life giving, eternal life. We focus so much of our attention on our time on earth. Yet it is our eternal destiny that is the biggest question we have to answer.

I was speaking to a guy who dropped something in at the building, he could not believe that a church met there. He was full of questions, what type of church? do we believe in the Bible? What is the service like? I could see he was intrigued about things. I said to him, “if it’s true and I believe it is, it’s at least should be explored if in the end you dismiss it that’s your choice, but I believe that it is our eternal destiny that is at stake!” I could see him thinking.

The Gospel is: “the power of God unto salvation.” It’s not a fancy argument, it’s not difficult.

It cost God everything to give us everlasting life – Christ Jesus died for us. He came down to earth to die for us, so that we might be lifted up to where He is. It was His blood that redeemed us, bought us, paid the price of sin. I have a complete mixture of emotions when I think about Easter; sadness, sorrow, joy, excitement, the full pendulum swing. I do not apologise for getting overwhelmed with the fact that He died for ME. So often today we are removed from us the pain of what He went through, His death, His blood slowly pouring out onto the ground, every breath hard work, the sense of separation from His Father until He finally He cried “it is finished”. Sorry if this is not chocolate coated. It was real! It was excruciating. It’s was painful, so why? It’s simple God loves us!

He wanted us to know Him, to exchange our filth, our sin for His righteousness. Our wrong for His right. No cost, no purchase, no money could buy this gift. I wonder what would happen if we gave people a gift of a cross instead of chocolate?

There is a saying “It’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming”, resurrection day, Easter is not about one day, but three days. He rose again on the third day, victorious over sin, death and hell. He is alive! He is risen! He is risen in deed!

Below are some statistics about the resurrection of Jesus:

Nearly half of the population believes that Jesus Christ rose from the dead, according to a new survey commissioned in Wales by Theos the public theology think tank. The findings challenge the widespread view that Easter is seen as little more than an opportunity to indulge a taste for chocolate.

60% of the people questioned believed that the resurrection at the heart of the Easter story is true with 35% believing Jesus rose physically from the dead and 25% said they believed it was a ‘spiritual resurrection’.

44% said that Jesus died for the sins of the world.

26% the Easter story had no meaning today.

(All statistics taken from Evangelical Alliance website)

The figures make interesting reading. Given the statistics, why are our churches not overflowing with people? Maybe we as Christians need to be a little bolder in our proclamation of the Good News.

I wonder if it is better to have a fix of chocolate or the knowledge of having our sins forgiven and eternal life!

It seems a no brainer to me, give me eternal life any day!!

Invite someone this Easter to hear the Good News, we have lots on at News Springs to invite people to.

Happy Easter

Pastor Dave & Ali Holmes