For millions of Christians in countries around the world, including Guyana, the just-concluded Easter holiday was a time to celebrate Jesus Christ’s resurrection. During this period, Christians celebrated Christ rising over death, setting us free from its ultimate affect, previously permitted through the streak of inherited sin coming from Adam and Eve (the very reason why we sometimes are compelled to act as our own worst enemy). This breaking of the bonds of death is forever good news.
The ideal of Easter for many others is to merely contemplate the moment, whether it is religious in nature or not. Easter means to live with a sense of newness. Just as the season lifts our spirits and makes us feel like the whole world is new, the Resurrection of Jesus makes “all things new”. (Rev. 21:5) The Easter spirit. therefore, is a spirit of renewal that enables us to show up at work with a positive attitude, to renew relationships that have been taken for granted, and to express appreciation and affection to those closest to us. It means to see the world through new eyes – God´s eyes. With this faith, we are able to hold on to an enduring sense of joy even in the midst of the sadness we experience from the loss of a loved one, a failure to achieve an important goal, or a setback during recovery from an illness.
The vibrant colours of flowering plants, leafing trees and greening grass are all reminders that life is continuously renewed each year, without fail – the very essence of hope. The symbols of Easter should continue to remind us, beyond the holiday itself, that our world can indeed be a colourful, vibrant and life-affirming place – despite all the sobering events that occur in it each day. Even though the holiday has passed, we owe it to ourselves every day to stop and appreciate all the good things our lives hold — all the blessings, both large and small.
Perhaps some persons go to church every Sunday, or maybe only go to church on Easter Sunday; maybe do not go to church at all, or maybe you do not belong to a Judeo-Christian religion. No matter. The contemplation of renewal can be a useful exercise for everyone. Renewal can, however, be a peculiar thing at times; sometimes, like seasons, it is an immutable law, part of nature’s cycle. Other times, there is no renewal at all. Things happen, good and bad. That’s it, and there’s no reset. It is hard fact. While in nature, renewal is mostly automatic, for humanity, renewal requires sacrifice, or hard work, or a promise to do so.
In a world where so much is lacking, where innocent lives are lost through war, where millions starve every day and where a large percentage of the world’s population is still marginalised, it is the spirit of hope that keeps driving us forward. It is the hope that tomorrow’s sunrise will herald a change in these circumstances and will bring about renewal in all its forms.
In some ways, humanity can be able to renew itself, at least temporarily. Even after the Easter and Passover season, it is ideal for us to consider our own moment of renewal, whatever it may be. We can use the period to cultivate an Easter spirit that enables us to be truly Christian all year round, embracing joy, living without fear, and seeing the world again – as if for the first time.
No matter one’s religion – or even one’s lack of any religious belief – all welcome this time of year. So whether it is with our kids, with plants, with nature, in our workplaces, within the Government or in our relationships, let us all take time away from regular routines this time of year to renew ourselves and refresh others with hope that springs eternal. We always have the hope of renewal, if not the fact.