The Apostle Mark chronicled the event being celebrated by Christians today:
"And the angel answered and said unto the women, fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said."
Easter is synonymous with rebirth. In the Christian tradition, it marks the resurrection of God's son, sent to die for the sins of man and to provide hope for a future beyond death. In a secular sense, Easter can represent putting away old, destructive ways to create a better world.
Christian families heeding the call of church bells today are honoring a major tenet of their faith, but even non-Christians can feel the tug of hope that is inherent in Easter, a name taken from Eastre, the ancient Saxon goddess for spring, the start of a season of new life.
On this day of all days, there is a supreme irony in the fact that much of the discord in the world comes from perceived differences among three of the world's great religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. All three share the same roots, a one-father religion that would make brothers of all mankind.
Regardless of religious faith, or even the lack of it, everyone should be able to accept a very simple fact. Individual human beings - no matter where in the world they were born - share more commonalities than differences. Conflict comes from emphasizing differences. Peace comes from appreciating commonalities.
In a place where many cultures, beliefs and practices have coexisted, uneasily at times, the message of Easter can transcend all of our differences with a hope for peace, prosperity and a community united in preserving the best of the past in order to create the best possible future.
(A version of this editorial has appeared previously in The Maui News.)
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.