During the sub-zero and snow-filled months of winter, we maintained a spirit of hope that spring was on the way. It has now become a reality as all nature stretches and yawns and awakens once more to a new beginning. The fragrance of spring awakens our waiting nostrils, the budding beauty of new life brightens our eyes, and the reassuring idea of renewal stimulates our minds. This mental and emotional state is commonly known as spring fever.

Each year as this season arrives, we of the Christian faith, with great anticipation, celebrate Easter. This is the most sacred event in all of Christendom. Over the years, this celebration has expanded to include the Easter bunny and other ideas especially for children. The risen Christ had a special place in His heart for the children and would likely approve of this added emphasis.

In nature, the Easter season is one of new beginnings and hope for an abundant summer. For children, the Easter season is one of new clothes, egg hunts, chocolate candy and bunnies, and soft stuffed animals to cuddle. This celebration is all well and good as long as the true Easter story is dutifully included.

As with Christmas, the Christian faith shares Easter, this blessed of all seasons, with those of differing beliefs. But this sharing does not deter nor diminish the reverence and hope of this sacred resurrection of Christ. No matter the commercial expanding of this season, the cardinal event of Easter is the death and resurrection of Christ.

With His victory over death, an eternal hope of forgiveness and new beginnings was made possible. America, established and founded as a Christian nation, must never wander far from those precepts if God’s blessings are to be continued.

We live in a time of unrest, wars, hunger and slavery all around the world. Our leaders desperately search for answers to perplexing problems. Each new day brings with it news of disturbing happenings and events. But still running deep beneath the turmoil is an unchanging possibility for peace.

Easter guarantees the solution if only we finally decide to engage it.

As Easter 2014 arrives, shall we all, in our diverse beliefs, join together in celebration of the arrival of Easter and spring. During this season of the rejuvenation of nature and spiritual renewal, we should take inventory of our blessings. As Christ claimed freedom over death as payment for all who would believe, we Americans claim freedoms which include freedom of worship as a bulwark of honor, protection and assurance.

No matter the varied Easter celebrations, the never-hanging fact remains that this season and this day celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. His tomb is empty, and He lives with us and through those of us who daily endeavor to follow His example and teaching.

A happy and blessed Easter to all.

— Elton Slusser

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