For the Christian world, Easter is … A day of joy
For 2000 years, the resurrection of Jesus has been celebrated as the greatest of all religious feast days. It is, to Christians the world over, the promise of eternal life, made possible by one who gave his life on the cross.
It also comes at the time of the year when in this country we rejoice in the arrival of spring — a new birth as the land emerges from the dark and cold of winter, a flowering of nature that brightens the spirits and enriches our days.
It is, in every sense, a blending of the holy and the secular. Churches fill with those who worship the risen Christ. And it is a day for dressing up, for dining out, for stuffed bunnies and Easter baskets filled with brightly colored eggs.
This year Easter also comes at a time when the nation confronts evil forces in Iraq pledged to kill American troops who are in that torn and troubled land in an effort to rebuild its cities and give its citizens a new life of freedom.
These radical and fundamentalist killers have declared death to all of those who are of different faiths and different beliefs — trying to make a religious war out of this battle for freedom in their own country.
In doing so, they have defiled the tenets of their own Islamic faith — desecrating and mutilating the bodies of four victims who were slain a week ago while working to protect the delivery of food supplies to needy Iraqis.
War, unfortunately, has been a part of the world since cavemen took stone axes to attack others or defend themselves. Through the ages, as civilizations advanced and religions emerged, people have prayed for peace — all the while, in troubled times, arming themselves against their foes.
This Easter celebration comes as Americans sacrifice once more in a commitment to freedom that calls on young men and women to serve in the face of peril in a foreign land.
The Easter prayers that will fill churches today also will include petitions for peace — as well as prayers of thanksgiving and joy for the events that followed the passion and death of Jesus on Calvary.
The disciples of Christ on the third day found his tomb empty, and heard the words of an angel telling them that the Lord was not there, that he is risen.
It was the fulfillment of Christ’s life on earth.
It proclaimed then the joy of Easter, as it does again today as we celebrate with colorful bonnets, with chocolate candy, with festive brunches, and most of all, with a day celebrating the faith of our fathers.
Happy Easter to you and yours.
Editor: This editorial was penned in years past by former Voice of The Times senior editor Bill Tobin. It is our pleasure to present it again on this special day.