As the world celebrates the Easter holiday, may we pause to reflect on the importance of forgiveness, hope, compassion and gratitude as the four critical reasons for Easter season?
The original meaning of Easter
Easter is a Christian holiday that celebrates the death of Christ on Good Friday and Christ’s resurrection on Easter Sunday. The word “Easter” originates from the pagan goddess Eostre of England, associated with fertility and springtime.
The First Council of Nicaea was held in 325 to clarify the date for the Easter celebration worldwide. After that, the ancient Christian Church resolved to celebrate Easter on the first Sunday following the Spring Equinox after the first full moon.
The date for Easter changes yearly- it can fall on any Sunday between March 22 and April 25. So, for example, in 2023, Easter will be celebrated on April 9 and March 31 in 2024.
Why do we celebrate Easter?
The Easter holiday is celebrated worldwide as a Christian religious holiday to mark the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is one of the most important holidays in Christianity.
That is because the resurrection of Christ from the dead is the most robust foundation for the Christian church as it signifies Christ’s defeat of death and the eternal hope of salvation.
Why do we celebrate Easter with an egg hunt?
The Easter egg hunt is a tradition that has been around for a long time. It is thought to have originated in France, where they would hide eggs in gardens and have children find them.
Eggs were often a symbol of fertility, rebirth, and life. The egg hunt was initially played by adults and children together. Still, it became more of an activity for the children by decorating the eggs in colourful ribbons or strings to make them easier to find.
In recent years, chocolate “eggs” have replaced eggs as hunting items—prevalent culture, especially in the West.
The reasons for Easter season
Look Back in forgiveness, forward in hope, down in compassion, and up in gratitude.Zig Ziglar
Jesus preached about love, compassion, gratefulness, and forgiveness during his earthly ministry.
Also, he gave hope to those who had lost hope, showing them a better way.
Forgiveness as a reason for Easter
Hating people is like burning down your own house to get rid of a rat.Henry Emerson Fosdick
The importance of forgiveness is so great that Jesus Christ admonished us in the Bible to forgive not once or seven times but a whopping seventy times seven times!
Forgiveness is not just self-love but love for the person you are forgiving. It can be a gift and blessing for those who need it and offer it.
Components of forgiveness
Forgiveness is vital because it helps people move past the mistakes of others. It lets us release our bitterness and resentment toward those who hurt us.
Please consider the following components of forgiveness
- Self-forgiveness: Forgive yourself for your imperfections and past mistakes
- Seek forgiveness from those whom you’ve hurt
- Forgive and forget the hurts of others
When we hate our enemies, we are giving them power over us: power over our sleep, our appetites, our blood pressure, our health, and our happiness. Our enemies would dance with joy if only they knew how they were worrying us, lacerating us, and getting even with us! Our hate is not hurting them at all, but our hate is turning our own days and nights into a hellish turmoil.Dale Carnegie
Hope is another reason for Easter
Hope is an essential human emotion that helps us navigate life’s challenges. It is the belief that things can get better and that there is a possibility for a brighter tomorrow. Hope allows us to push through difficult times and to keep going when things seem bleak.
At Easter, hope is a central theme. It is a time when we celebrate new beginnings and the promise of new life. The resurrection of Jesus Christ serves as a symbol of hope, reminding us that no matter how dark things may seem, there is always the possibility for redemption and renewal.
Hope has been shown to impact mental health and well-being significantly. Studies have found that people with a strong sense of hope are better able to cope with stress, are less likely to experience depression and have a more positive outlook on life. Hope also helps us set goals and work towards them, leading to tremendous success and fulfilment in life.
So, this Easter, embrace the power of hope. Allow yourself to believe things can improve, even in the darkest times. Find inspiration in the stories of others who have overcome adversity, and let their journeys give you hope for your future.
Compassion as a reason for Easter
The English Dictionary defines compassion as the “sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.”
This Easter season allows both Christians and others to be compassionate to the plights of others. But we also need to practice self-compassion.
Even as the COVID19 Pandemic, wars and disasters ravage our world, there are several ways to show compassion.
Few examples of compassion.
- Offer of support: if you see someone struggling, offer them support by empathetic listening or giving them an encouraging word.
- Acts of generosity: giving your money or time to those doing it tough. Some examples include donations to courses that assist those affected by the current war in Ukraine, severe flooding in Australia, and poverty.
- Sponsorship of deprived children in Third World countries through Compassion Australia, UNICEF or other agencies.
- Contributing to programs for the conservation of wildlife and against global warming.
- Contributing to animal rescue and adoption programs
The Importance of Gratitude
Gratitude is being thankful and appreciative of the good things in our lives. It is a powerful emotion that has numerous mental and physical health benefits.
At Easter, gratitude is an essential theme as we reflect on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and the gift of salvation. It is a time to give thanks for our blessings and appreciate the people who make our lives better.
Research has found that practising gratitude can profoundly impact our well-being. It has been linked to increased happiness, better sleep, reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety, and improved relationships. Gratitude also helps us focus on our lives positive aspects, which can lead to a more optimistic outlook.
So, this Easter, reflect on the things you are grateful for. List the blessings in your life, and express your gratitude to those who have made a difference. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude and watch as it transforms your life in countless positive ways.
Easter is a Christian holiday that celebrates the death of Christ on Good Friday and Christ’s resurrection on Easter Sunday. It is one of the most important holidays in Christianity.
Forgiveness, hope, compassion and gratitude as the four critical reasons for the Easter season. Jesus taught about these concepts during his earthly ministry.
We can all practise compassion for others through offers of support, acts of generosity, and sponsorship of deprived children by wildlife conservation and animal rescue efforts.
We should have hope for a better tomorrow.
Forgiving yourself for your inadequacies and those who hurt you is also essential.
Being grateful for the good things in our lives and for the assistance of others can benefit us immensely.
What does the Easter season mean for you, and which of the two concepts would you adopt?
I would love to hear your thoughts.
Thanks for your time.