Editorial – Easter Sunday reminds us that  hope springs eternal

Published 1:48 pm Friday, March 29, 2024

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It doesn’t take a believer to find inspiration in the symbolism of Easter.

Easter occurs, appropriately, in the spring, when signs of renewal abound.

Even when Easter falls early on the calendar, certain flowers are back in bloom. Green leaves have reappeared on limbs recently bare. People have reemerged from their winter hibernation, evidenced by the increased pedestrian activity along Smithfield’s Main Street. The LOVE sign outside the Times’ front door was an especially busy backdrop for visitor snapshots as the sun shone bright while we wrote this on Monday.

For Christians, Easter Sunday continues to be a perpetual reminder of hope, that no matter how heartbreaking the moment may seem, all is never lost.

The run-up is quite somber. On what Christians now call Maundy Thursday, Jesus celebrated the Last Supper with his disciples, the first observance of a practice we know as communion. Jesus washed the disciples’ feet as an act of service, setting an example that we should love and serve one another in humility.

On Good Friday, Jesus’ followers thought that their world had come crashing down. The charismatic figure they had followed for the past three years and in whom they had put their hopes was dead. Before their very eyes, Jesus had been mocked, tormented and crucified like a common criminal.

Yet the disciples did not truly grasp what Jesus was about until Easter Sunday, when He rose from the dead. With His resurrection, they came to understand that His kingdom — and theirs — was not of this world but the next. And they came to see that out of great suffering can emerge immense joy. In other words, there could be no Easter Sunday without Good Friday.

It is this juxtaposition of misery and happiness that has braced Christians to endure war, natural disaster and personal tragedy for the last two millennia.

This weekend, as many of us flock to churches throughout Isle of Wight and Surry to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection, let us remember those who are suffering in our community, in our state and around the world. Pray for a change of heart in those who are consumed with death. Let us hope that peace will replace conflict, that the proverbial swords will be turned into plowshares.

As we learned on the first Easter Sunday, miracles do happen.