Faith & Values
Officially spring began March 20, but the unofficial start of spring is Easter.
Many Christians call Easter: Resurrection Day. Easter or Resurrection Day is the focal event of our faith.
Christian scriptures tell us that more than 2,000 years ago, when the women went to the tomb to prepare Jesus’ body for burial, they found the tomb empty.
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Angels appeared and told the women Jesus was alive and had been raised from the dead. Subsequent to the Easter event, Jesus appeared to the women and his disciples.
Easter is about life, possibilities and hope. Jesus’ death and resurrection let us know things that appear to be lifeless are not necessarily dead.
Nature proclaims this lesson annually as bulbs and barren trees that appear dead in winter spout vibrant, green leaves.
The miracle of life continues as leaves make way for blossoms of rainbow colors, shapes and fragrances.
If we ask, God gives us wisdom and courage to revive lifeless routines and relationships. It only takes one estranged sibling to call another to start the healing process.
A single, “I am sorry,” can be the bud of reconciliation between spouses. When we turn over our egos to God’s way, we will be surprised to find life where death once reigned.
Easter is also about making what appears impossible — possible.
Yes, we can change. We can get off the couch and exercise. Easter comes in spring as the days grow longer and warmer.
God can strengthen our resolve to treat our bodies as sacred creations of the Divine. We can choose to be happier, kinder, and to not sweat the small stuff. With God, all things are possible.
Easter is about newness of life. Doing the same old thing out of convenience and lack of creativity is deadly in relationships and makes poor business sense.
We are limited only by our imagination. Fear of thinking outside of the box keeps us stuck and unhappy. That is not the Easter way.
Some of us bristle when Easter is thought to be about bunnies, colored eggs and chocolate. Except for the deviled eggs and egg-salad sandwiches, the secular trappings of Easter will vanish the day after.
The hope and reconciliation Jesus offers continues forever. No matter how many poor choices we make, God forgives and encourages us to be reconciled to those we have hurt.
Easter is about eternal life and hope. Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, Christians believe in never-ending life with God. Death is no longer the final arbiter on life.
When this mortal existence is over, heaven is our eternal home. The hope of seeing loved ones on the other side of death eases grief on this side of life.
Those who have kept their Lenten obligations for more than six weeks are jubilant for having kept their personal promises to God and self.
The season of sorrow and penance has ended.
Easter reminds us that good triumphs over evil and God’s love is ever-present. Easter is a day of rejoicing that no matter how hard life gets, if we trust God, God will get us through.
I get excited on Easter. My tradition is to attend a spirited sunrise Easter service, usually at 6 a.m., followed by a hearty breakfast. Then I attend the Sunday school program, where children are arrayed in their finest attire.
Youngsters give their one-line recitations and sing about how much Jesus loves them. After a second music-filled worship celebration, the day is capped off with a family dinner. Overall, Easter is a glorious day.
If it has been a while since you celebrated new life and God’s love, I invite you worship and celebrate the risen Savior this Easter. He lives, so let the party begin!
The Rev. Patricia L. Hunter is an associate in ministry at Mount Zion Baptist Church and senior benefits consultant for American Baptist Churches in the USA. Readers may send feedback to email@example.com