Easter is a wonderful day for renewal in a number of ways.
First, of course, is the religious meaning of the day, the resurrection of Christ. That momentous event nearly 2,000 years ago gave a hope and inspiration to his followers that they shared with others, eventually leading to a faith that has spread across the globe.
Returning from death is, after all, the ultimate renewal. The belief that this new phase of life is awaiting them has given Christians the strength to deal with everyday pain and sorrows and to make sacrifices, knowing that happier times are ahead. For Christians, this holiest day on the Christian calendar symbolizes the reasons they have taken the path they have chosen. Many will feel the renewal of spirit as they worship today, singing familiar hymns and hearing again the words often called The Greatest Story Ever Told.
Seasonally, Easter falls at a time when the Earth itself (at least in the Northern Hemisphere) is in a time of renewal. The drab browns and grays of winter are giving way to the pinks, yellows, reds, purples and oranges of blooms set against foliage that again is a vibrant green. Once bare trees are green again and the sun’s daily track across the sky is a higher, longer route. The warmer temperatures and longer days inspire activity and people and animals shake off the winter doldrums.
Families will gather today to follow traditions such as a big meal followed by the younger children hunting Easter eggs. In an increasingly busy and compartmental society, often times holidays are even more special because they have become difficult for extended families to gather together as they once did. It is a time for catching up, talking about old times and enjoying each other’s company — the renewing of family bonds.
All in all, it is a day full of life … a day made possible by a single sacrifice that was so significant that it has had a lasting impact on the world.
It also brings to mind that great teacher’s words on how we should treat one another, enemies and people who don’t like as well as friends and those we’re fond of. The Golden Rule was summarized in Luke 6:31: “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.”
Not everyone believes in the Easter story, but those words constitute a wisdom that transcends religions, and non-religion for that matter. If we all would take them to heart, it truly would be a time of renewal.
— The Albany Herald Editorial Board