Editorial – A welcome time of rebirth

Published 5:32 pm Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Easter occurs, appropriately, in the spring, when even a non-Christian can find inspiration in signs of renewal all around us.

Flowers are back in bloom. Green leaves have reappeared on limbs recently bare. People have reemerged from their winter hibernation. Here in downtown Smithfield, the streets are bustling for the first time since the Christmas shopping season ended. The Smithfield Farmers Market, its originally scheduled 2023 debut scuttled by last weekend’s dicey forecast, will have its coming-out party this Easter weekend.   

For Christians, Easter Sunday continues to be a perpetual reminder of hope, that no matter how heartbreaking the moment may seem, all is never lost.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

On Good Friday, Jesus’ followers thought that their world had come crashing down. The charismatic figure they had followed for the past three years and in whom they had put their hopes was dead. Before their very eyes, Jesus had been mocked, tormented and crucified like a common criminal.

Yet the disciples did not truly grasp what Jesus was about until Easter Sunday, when He rose from the dead. With His resurrection, they came to understand that His kingdom — and theirs — was not of this world but the next. And they came to see that out of great suffering can emerge immense joy. There could be no Easter Sunday without Good Friday.

It is this juxtaposition of misery and happiness that has braced Christians to endure war, natural disaster and personal tragedy for the last two millennia.

This weekend, as we flock to churches throughout Western Tidewater to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection, let us remember those who are suffering in our community, in our state and around the world. Let us pray for a change of heart in those who are consumed with death. Let us hope that peace will replace conflict, that the proverbial swords will be turned into plowshares.

As we learned on the first Easter Sunday, miracles do happen.