The Scoop on Easter

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By Bill Koch, editor

By Bill Koch

How do you write a column as a newspaper editor about a sacred holiday that is uniquely Christian?

With profundity and boldness, some of you may declare.

But the real world of secular journalism sternly averts our gaze to other priorities, to matters of civility and respect for other views. We must consider and honor other perspectives, conventional wisdom asserts. We must not offend.

While true, the words ring with hollow and hilarious irony. In a culture that so lacks those basic tenets, we suddenly espouse principles that the devout would claim are uniquely Christian in nature? Ah, isn’t that the rub?

We shan’t evangelize the sacred for the sake of upsetting those who find the sacred intolerable – even narrow minded and offensive.

Dare I proceed further?

Yes, I will. Easter, nonetheless, still rests on the calendar’s horizon. It has not as yet been expunged from our essential timelines.

Behold Easter. It is April 21. That’s a Sunday.

It is the celebration of the life and death of a man named Jesus. That name. It has not yet been deemed politically or culturally profane or a slur. We are still entitled to utter it, and with the same exuberance as others who may view life through different prisms.

The more devout and impassioned of those in the Christian community call it Resurrection Sunday. In certain circles, that alone is almost considered an affront or, at least, a marvel.

Resurrection. It means “the action or fact of resurrecting or being resurrected.” “Resurrect” means to “restore (a dead person) to life.”

The word delves even deeper within the sphere of real Christianity. Jesus claimed he was God incarnate, that he would die for the sins of humanity and that he would inconceivably suffer for its innate corruption. In the process, he would be making a redemptive offer.

Those, indeed, are extravagant proclamations, yet millions believe and stake their lives and livelihoods on their veracity. They audaciously construct their manners of living – and dying – on that one pivot point.

For the “rational” among us, that type of believing must surely be insane, delusional, dangerous or true.

And still we approach Easter with sincerity, with a stir in our hearts, with an eerie, ethereal, unsettling zeal.

Some of us may celebrate with eggs and bunnies and Sunday morning “go to meeting” attire. Some may simply ignore the day, just marking it off the calendar as another useless or convenient holiday. But others are drawn to it – with passion that transcends human understanding.

A snarky actor once quipped that believers are obligated to prove God exists. He smugly mocked the startled response many believers sometimes give when atheists proclaim their beliefs.

The atheist so misses the point. Must we prove the sky is blue? Must we prove we love and laugh and dance? Must we prove we breathe fresh air? Must we prove beauty and goodness exist?

Yes. Easter is coming. It’s just two weeks away. Many may look forward to the prospects of returning to church as if being drawn by some esoteric obligation. Others may scoff; it is, after all, mere fairytale, right?

Still, Easter provides an offer, an incomprehensive treasure which millions and millions of people have accepted.

Yes, we may still speak our minds and hearts. We are entitled. Celebrate Easter. Celebrate the resurrection. And celebrate your right to say why you celebrate.