Over 2 billion people are celebrating Easter today, April 20, as the calendars of Western and Eastern churches coincide this year, and these billions of faithful people are celebrating HOPE
But not only have the calendars of the Eastern and Western Christian Churches coincided but this week has also been a celebration of hope and freedom, with Passover starting last Monday night and continuing through the weekend until next Tuesday. Which of course also coincides with Holy Week, which culminates this weekend with Easter Sunday. This linkage is entirely appropriate, since Jesus had come to Jerusalem for the Passover ceremonies and the famous Last Supper was a Passover Seder… the ritual meal where Jews all over the world retell the story of the Exodus, celebrate their God-given freedom and eat the unleavened bread, matzoh, to commemorate their ancestor’s journey and deliverance from bondage and slavery.
The story of the Resurrection is a story of freedom too… freedom of the soul and a promise of eternal life to believing Christians who understand what the rolling away of the stones means for them.
Both holidays change their dates on our calendar from year to year, Passover or Pessah in Hebrew, because it is based on the centuries old Hebrew calender and Easter because the early Church fathers determined that Easter is always celebrated on the Sunday immediately following the Paschal Full Moon date of the year, which always occurs after Passover.
However, it’s rare that the two holidays occur this close together and in this momentous year, when Judeo-Christian values seem to be under siege, I likewise see in that a sign of hope for the future.
I and my friends here at Ask Marion and on the Watcher’s Council wish you and yours Chag Pessach Sameach and a Blessed Easter.
The meaning of Easter is HOPE, and we, all of us, need and deserve hope.