Editorial: Easter is a time for family gatherings, and a time to recognize the renewal of spring

04/20/2014 12:00 AM

04/20/2014 12:59 AM

For millions of Christians around the world, Easter is a time to celebrate Jesus Christ’s resurrection. For millions of Jews, Passover represents the celebration of the release of the Israelites from the Egyptian pharaohs. For some, it’s a moment for the Easter Bunny, which, upon first inspection, seems like it might well have been created by an advertising agency.

Oddly, the Easter Bunny originated among German Lutherans in the 1860s. The delivery of dyed eggs by said bunny was a ritual for children and spread to other religions such as the Eastern Orthodox Church, whose members dyed their eggs blood red to signify Christ’s crucifixion. At the Passover seder, there is a roasted egg on the plate, signifying renewal as well.

If you don’t have a particular bunny in this race, Easter is a time for family gatherings and a time to recognize the renewal of spring.

Renewal is a funny thing; sometimes, like seasons, it is an immutable law, part of nature’s cycle. Other times, there is no renewal at all. Things happen, good and bad. That’s it, and there’s no reset. It is hard fact.

The ideal of Easter for many people is to merely contemplate the moment, whether it is religious in nature or not. Maybe you go to church every Sunday, or maybe you only go to church on Easter Sunday. Maybe you don’t go to church at all, or maybe you don’t belong to a Judeo-Christian religion. No matter. The contemplation of renewal is a useful exercise.

Consider this moment in history: We have the greatest technology, but we cannot stop killing each other, often with terrible efficiency. We have the greatest health care, but we cannot provide it to everyone. We have the greatest communication systems, and we fritter it away on trivia and minutiae. We have the greatest food-production system, and millions of bellies are wanting. We have the greatest transportation system, but we can’t get there from here.

And yet, we always have the hope of renewal, if not the fact.

In nature, renewal is mostly automatic. For humanity, renewal requires sacrifice, or hard work, or at a promise to do so. In some ways, humanity can renew itself, at least temporarily. In this Easter and Passover moment, consider your own moment of renewal, whatever it may be.

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