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Viewpoints: What does Easter mean to you?

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Viewpoints is a SpokaneFāVS feature where our writers respond to a weekly question. Readers are invited to participate by posting in the comment section below.

Easter, perhaps the holiest day on the Christian calendar, will be celebrated this weekend by the Western church.

What does Easter mean to you?

John Hancock: A time for renewal 

Springtime renewal of vitality, after a season of defense from the cold and dark, is a planetary event.  It’s far older than Easter and humans.
I think the early Christians understood and adopted this cyclic symbolism because it was hopeful and familiar. Jesus gave it a personal face. In this temperate zone of Spokane, rebirth and relief occurs this time of year. It’s available to any of us in the activities and mindset we choose.
My family observance is Spring Equinox, a solar event, on which we honor and give thanks to nature for the warming renewal and promise of heat and vigor to come. It’s a planting time, with hope for continued abundance and blessing.  It’s a stewardship opportunity.
We also continue a family tradition of togetherness, newness, thanks, and hope.
I wish that to everyone, no matter what your own springtime tradition!
Matthew Sewell: A reason for hope!
For Catholics, this is an easy one. Easter is why we have hope! It’s precisely in this holiday – wherein we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (which we believe was a historical event) – that we rejoice and know that we, as fallen humans, can be saved.
We spend 40 days of fasting and sacrifice prior to Easter as both penance for our sins and as a participation in the suffering and death of Christ. Then, with the coming of Easter we rejoice with Christ in his resurrection to new life, because without his having ransomed us from death, we would never be able to be with God in heaven.
And so, as a Catholic, you could say Easter is part of who I am — part of my DNA. A quote by St. John Paul II says it best: “Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.”
Patricia Bruininks: Restoration has begun
Easter represents the hope I have for a future when all of creation — including us humans — has been restored to its initial beauty. It is also a reminder that restoration has already begun through the miracle of Christ rising from the dead and ascending into heaven. It gives me purpose and direction for how to live my life in the interim and provides joy in the midst of suffering.

About Tracy Simmons

Tracy Simmons is an award winning journalist specializing in religion reporting, digital entrepreneurship and social journalism. In her 15 years on the religion beat, Simmons has tucked a notepad in her pocket and found some of her favorite stories aboard cargo ships in New Jersey, on a police chase in Albuquerque, in dusty Texas church bell towers, on the streets of New York and in tent cities in Haiti.
Simmons has worked as a multimedia journalist for newspapers across New Mexico, Texas and Connecticut. Currently she serves as the executive director of SpokaneFAVS.com, a digital journalism start-up covering religion news and commentary in Spokane, Wash. She is also a Scholarly Assistant Professor at Washington State University.

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