Time for fresh faith, fresh hope, fresh purpose and fresh EC air

For the Christians among us, this is perhaps the most sacred time of the year. It is certainly the most humbling, the pivotal event of religious human history and an example of the love we should have for one another.

Easter holds a special meaning for many people across the province as we celebrate the resurrection of Christ and reflect on His ultimate sacrifice.

It is a special time of renewal and hope.

Phumulo Masualle Picture: SILUSAPHO NYANDA

While Christianity is represented by a wide range of denominations and religious practices, the unifying principle is their universal belief in the birth, death and resurrection of the Son of God.

Christ’s death and resurrection – in other words, Easter is the very foundation of Christianity.

Hot-cross buns, Easter eggs, the white flag with its red cross – all have their roots in the Christian celebration of the triumph of Jesus Christ over death.

On Good Friday we celebrate his death on the Cross; on Holy Saturday his descent into the darkest realms of death; on Easter Sunday his resurrection from the dead into the fullness of life.

Of course, like other religious holidays such as Christmas, Easter has also seen its own hyped-up brand of consumerism.

But for Christians, Easter of course, will always be much more than a bunny or a sale.

The Christian believer continues to hold on to Easter’s triumphant message – the victory of good over evil, the promise of redemption from sin, continued hope for the marginalised and oppressed, and the gift of eternal life for the faithful.

Lest we forget, Easter doesn’t have a fixed date.

In the Northern Hemisphere, it is observed on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the first day of spring.

As a result Easter can fall on any Sunday between March 22 and April 25.

Good Friday or Holy Friday observes the day of Jesus’ crucifixion.

It is marked not just by mourning but deep thought and reflection.

Special services are usually held in churches worldwide as Christians consider the beatings and suffering Jesus endured before dying on the cross at Calvary hill.

Jesus’ death and resurrection are the anchoring planks of the Christian faith.

Hence the Easter period is approached with great reverence and love.

It marks the end of Lent, a traditional time for fasting and penitence, and certainly on the calendar, the end of winter and the start of spring.

For perhaps all of these reasons, Easter for most people represents not just new life and salvation that comes with the Resurrection, but good times and good food as well.

Holidays, for me, are all about fresh air!

There is nothing as refreshing as spending time at the sea or in the hills!

It gets us away from city life and away from the unwanted additives in the air.

Another thing about being in the fresh open spaces is that often we can see for far greater distances and with more clarity.

So too, in the fresh air of faith we can see our destination, the ultimate goal of our lives.

The remarkable events we celebrate this weekend – the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ – is like a blast of fresh air, cleaning out our lungs and filling us with a renewed vigour.

Easter faith is fresh air, fresh meaning, and a fresh sense of purpose.

Just as excessive industrial activity dirties the environment, so too our behaviour towards one another mucks up the moral air we breathe.

In the same way Easter calls us all to be more attentive to the moral climate we create in our daily lives.

The way we look at each other, the way we speak to each other, the way we behave towards each other can either “clean” the air we breathe or make it more polluted.

For those who celebrate Easter, let this holiday weekend exude fresh air, fresh meaning, and a fresh sense of purpose.

Phumulo Masualle is Premier of the Eastern Cape. Follow him on twitter on @EC_Premier

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