Easter a time of hope for all

Easter is a Christian holiday with a universal message.

The Apostle Mark chronicled the event being celebrated by Christians today in two short verses in the King James Bible:

“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. Come and see the place where the Lord lay.”

Easter is synonymous with rebirth, a new beginning. In the Christian tradition, it marks the resurrection of the son of God after he died 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 make room for a better self, a better world.

Christian families, including many Native Hawaiians and others from cultures around the world 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.

It is a supreme irony, if not failure, of our time that much of the discord in the world and a major factor behind the wars in the Middle East comes from perceived differences among three of the world’s great religions — Judaism, Christianity and Islam. All three share identical roots in a one-father religion that would make all of mankind brothers.

Regardless of religious faith, or even the lack of it, everyone should be able to accept a very simple fact:

Individual human beings share more commonalities than differences. Conflict comes from emphasizing differences. Peace comes from appreciating commonalities.

Easter can be a day of hope for everyone.

(A version of this editorial has appeared previously in The Maui News.)

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.