It's been a long time since I really sat down and thought about Easter, or any holiday for that matter. This year I have a bit more time to ponder the meaning and impact of things on my life than I have in the past, and so while I'm sitting and gathering my thoughts I figured I might as well type them out for you all to read and add your perspective on.
I am not overly zealous in my faith, but I'd like to think that I'm also not completely passive in my beliefs and thoughts on the the order of things. I did take the opportunity to go to services on Palm Sunday and reflect on the goings on during Holy Week; the wrongful persecution of Jesus by the masses, the abandonment by his followers, his crucification and resurrection. While many roll their eyes at the stories and shrug them off in favor of white rabbits and colored eggs, the story of the resurrection is really the core basis of every underdog tale ever spun. It's a story about overcoming insurmountable odds, and coming out victorious in the end.
The one thing about the Christian telling of the resurrection that has always bothered me is that so many take it as a free pass to continue to behave badly. Jesus died for our sins, and all we have to do is believe that to be true and "TA DA" we're all heaven bound? I think not. I think the story's true meaning is that we can renew ourselves (although the process needn't be as violent, or deadly), and that there is an utter necessity to believe in ourselves so that others might believe in us.
Easter comes at a time when nature itself is in a state of renewal. Animals are giving birth to a new generation; plants begin to poke their heads out and reach towards the sun; the weather begins being brighter and warmer and pushes all of our winter blues away. In all cases, it doesn't matter what happened last season. What matters now is how all the beings react together as they perpetuate new life and support each other in their growth so that they all might reach maturity in time to begin the cycle all over again next year.
For me, this Easter falls at a very pivotal turning point in my life. I am currently processing my own renewal and reinvention of self, and I think this has given me much greater pause as eggs are hidden under the leaves of newly blooming flowers and children run screaming from one bush to another with baskets in hand.
Although the year is still young, I sense that it will be one that I remember vividly for decades to come. As the sun sets on this chapter of my life, I look forward to looking into the mirror and seeing my new-self. Revived, renewed and ready to make my mark on the world.
Happy Easter to all of you, and may this pivotal point in history bring you the perspective you need to move forward in your own lives.