Whether celebrated as a holy Christian observance or as a festive spring holiday, Easter is a truly remarkable collision of the secular and the sacred.
For Christians, Easter is a time of deep significance. Commemorating Christ's resurrection from death after his selfless sacrifice on behalf of all the world's sinners, Easter represents a joyous renewal of faith and commitment.
For everyone else, Easter is a time of springtime and bright colors, with families joining in celebration of seasonal renewal after wintertime doldrums.
This isn't just a coincidence. In the centuries following Christ's death, as his followers spread the word from the Middle East into western Europe, they encountered cultures for whom the cycles of nature held religious importance.
All Hallow's Eve was an early Christian creation, co-opting elements from pagan harvest festivals. And Easter, already a holy period, adopted elements of the pagans' springtime observances.
The latter linkage is especially appropriate. What better way to commemorate Christ's death and resurrection than by marveling at the browns and grays of winter giving way to the bright colors of spring?
Secular or sacred, Easter is a time of renewal. Christians, especially, can use the blooming of spring as a signal to renew their faith and their commitment to spreading the word of their risen Savior.
Happy Easter, to all.
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