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Familiar themes in an unfamiliar time

“The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.'”

Matthew 28:5-7

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Easter has traditionally been a holiday to acknowledge rebirth — in life, in nature and religiously for those hwo practice Christianity.

Those traditional themes are especially pronounced in Easter 2021 as we all try to navigate the uncertainty imposed by the seemingly never-ending COVID-19 pandemic. The early months of the pandemic, which enveloped Easter 2020, were particularly uneasy as we all did our part to stay home, be in places with other people no more than absolutely necessary and keep COVID-19 from overwhelming hospitals.

Summer, fall and winter were similarly restricted as gatherings brought rising numbers of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

But now, in our traditional time of rebirth, there are three COVID-19 vaccines that have people excited to venture out from behind their electronic screens to participate in our long-held traditions with their friends, neighbors and members of their extended family. If ever there was a time to remember the Biblical story of the ultimate renewal, it is this year.

So much has changed in the past 12 months, but Easter remains a touchstone for all of us — religious or not — that we are in a period of renewal and rebirth.

Happy Easter.

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