It is common knowledge that Easter has become a “popularized” holiday in many communities. It seems to have been written off as another holiday stepping stone between Christmas and the tantalizing future of summer, lining up with Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day to provide a break in late-winter drudgery.
Outside of those organizations which hold Easter in religious regard, very little preparation is done for the holiday.
The season of Lent, which began for many Christians last Wednesday, is meant to be a time of spiritual preparation for the Easter season, marked by fasting, prayer, and giving to those in need. If you speak to a Christian during this time, many will say that they have “given up” something for Lent as a way of individual preparation.
There is the obvious temptation, however, for Christians and non-Christians alike to make the next month just another time of the year. We are all struggling to make our way through the last weeks of winter, knowing that spring, warm weather, graduation and summer break are just around the corner. As such, the importance of service toward others is often left by the wayside. In these weeks leading up to Easter, though, this task is of particular value.
Turn on the news and you will undoubtedly see coverage of the devastation left after an 8.9 magnitude earthquake hit northern Japan earlier this week. It is said to be the fifth strongest earthquake recorded, and the long-term impact of this event will be felt for years. Such an occurrence has a tendency to put things in perspective, especially in our individual lives.
Even though we anticipate Easter for different reasons, this is still undeniably a season of preparation. I hope we can all find some way to make it meaningful and worthwhile, both for ourselves and for others.