Life anew on Easter Sunday

Published 12:10 am Sunday, April 24, 2011

Christos Anesti!

Translated from Greek, this phrase means “Christ is Risen.” The traditional response in Greek would be “Alithos Anesti” or “Truly, he has risen.”

For millions of people around the world, today is Easter Sunday – the day when Jesus Christ rose from the dead three days after his crucifixion on the cross. It also signals the end of the 40-day period of fasting and prayer known as Lent.

There is no day on the church calendar more significant than Easter, for all of Christianity is anchored in the firm belief that Jesus Christ is the son of God who died for our sins and then rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. There is no symbol more widely recognized than the cross which has become the mark of Christianity. Regardless of your church affiliation, if there was no Easter, there would be no Christianity.

It is also a day of hope, salvation and redemption – a day of renewed belief in a life in heaven after death. A new life.

But new life occurs here on Earth as well as people resurrect themselves from metaphorical death.

We have witnessed countless incidents of people searching for rebirth in the wake of life’s catastrophes. We have seen the devastation wrought by earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and fires. Time and again, mankind is able to build new life in the aftermath of death and destruction.

The population of Haiti continues to rebuild following the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that shook the Caribbean island nation in January 2010.

From Texas to Florida, states along the Gulf of Mexico just commemorated the one-year anniversary of the BP oil spill. They anticipate a new life following an environmental crisis.

The people of Japan are working to restore their society after an 8.9-magnitude earthquake, which created a 46-foot tall tsunami, on March 11.

The most recent example of new life would be the residents of Bertie County and elsewhere who fell victim to Mother Nature’s fury only one week ago. People who woke to massive damage and disorder last Sunday are attempting to return to normalcy by celebrating Easter this Sunday morning. Funerals are still being conducted for some of the 12 storm victims from Colerain, but survivors have begun the long, arduous process of putting their homes and lives back together.

So as you pause to worship this Easter Sunday, take a moment to think of those who are working to resurrect themselves from misfortune here on Earth. This may be the day when you share the Christian spirit and help your neighbor discover life anew.

Wishing you a blessed Easter.