4-10 Jackson

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 13, 2004

These last few weeks, we have enjoyed beautiful weather.

The air is getting warmer, the days are getting longer, the sky looks bluer and the sun is shining brighter.

Flowers are beginning to bloom and animals are awaking from their winter hibernations.

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Spring in certainly upon us and with that comes the renewal of life and hope and the reawakening of our spirits.

As we gather to celebrate this Easter day, we must remember why it is cherish these new beginnings.

We must look beyond the commercialism that has become associated with this or any holiday.

Sure, we will dye eggs and hope that the Easter Bunny will fill our baskets with goodies; but we must also remember that Easter is a time of rejoicing Christ’s resurrection.

At an intersection near the Alabama State House there is a marquee that simply reads, “God is real.”

As I drove past it this week, I couldn’t help but think of what a powerful message the short sentence held.

“God is real.”

God set an example for us in giving his only son to die for our sins.

John 3:16-17 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”

I, like many of you, went to the theater to see, “The Passion of the Christ.”

The film vehemently depicted the last 12 hours of Jesus’ life and while it was difficult to watch it is even more difficult to know that he endured the torture and pain for me and my sins.

Today, all of us can have hope because we know that Jesus lives.

Through his resurrection, we know that we will one day join him and have everlasting life.

In the hymn, “Lord of The Dance,” Sydney Carter writes, “I danced on a Friday when the sky turned black; It’s hard to dance with the devil on your back; They buried my body and they thought I’d gone; But I am the dance and I still go on.”

Christ’s love for mankind is larger than any basket and richer than any piece of chocolate.

My prayer for you and your family is that during this Easter period you pause and recognize the spirituality of this day and the incredible gift you have received.