DEI Committee

Diversity Equality Inclusion - April 8, 2022

Christian Easter

by Rev. Frank Wade, GHA Resident

Monotheistic religions like Judaism, Christianity and Islam seek to know the true nature of the Deity. For the most part, they rely on human experience and divine revelation to attain this understanding. Christians believe that, while Jesus of Nazareth is not the only manifestation of God, the teachings and events of his life recorded in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John reveal to us that Jesus is the Christ, the Anointed or Chosen by God. In this way, the Gospels inform our understanding of the nature of God and what it means to be faithful.

The revelation we Christians have in the Gospel accounts comes to a highly symbolic fulfillment in what is known as Holy Week. This week begins with Jesus’ dramatic entrance into Jerusalem (Palm Sunday) and continues through several days of conflicts with religious and political leaders. The week moves toward its climax in Jesus’ Last Supper with his followers (observed regularly by Christians with celebrations of Holy Communion or Eucharist) that took place on Thursday. Jesus’ death by crucifixion on Good Friday with its injustice, cruelty and suffering shows the darkest face of humanity. The story does not end there, however, but continues through Jesus’ resurrection on Sunday which shows the brightest face of God as all-powerful and all-loving. That Day of Resurrection is called Easter in English, a word that comes from an ancient Saxon term associated with the season of spring.

The meaning of Easter for Christians is both broad and deep. We have been talking about it for two thousand years and have not exhausted the subject. It is unlikely that a “Friday Thoughts” will bring it to a conclusion. Suffice it to say that Easter gives us Christians both purpose and hope.

For Christians, the Resurrection can be seen as God’s endorsing signature at the conclusion of Jesus’ physical presence in this world. No other power has ever or could ever reach into the finality of death and bring forth new life. The Resurrection is God’s affirmation of Jesus’ life and teaching. In this manner, Easter tells us to take the lessons of Jesus to heart. Those parables, instructions, miracles and insights are about how we are to live our lives. In that we find purpose.

The Resurrection is also a source of hope, for it shows us that life continues beyond death. While this does not lessen our grief (even Jesus wept when his friend Lazarus died), it does give us a strong hope to hold on to so that we do not sink into despair. That same hope enables us, with God’s help, to pull ourselves back into the fullness
of life.

Christians do not have a corner on either purposeful living or sustaining hope. I believe God’s mercy flows through many avenues of life. But Christian life and belief are given especially clear expression in the events of Holy Week and Easter. This year, Holy Week begins on April 10 and Easter is on April 17.

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About the Diversity, Equality and Inclusion (DEI) Committee: We are a group of staff and residents who together serve a mission to educate, embrace and empower a workplace of diversity, equality and inclusion. Our vision is to seek open and honest communication and collaboration that will inform and celebrate the cultural, ethnic and sexual orientation of all members of our staff without bias.

Questions or comments? Please contact us at dei@goodwinliving.org.

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