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~ APRIL NEWSLETTER ~

 

Walk past any store's Easter display and you're guaranteed to see bunnies, eggs, and candy. What you probably won't see is much evidence of the Easter story itself, as told in the Bible's four Gospels: that Jesus was arrested, beaten, and crucified, only to be resurrected on Easter Sunday.

But Easter is by most accounts the single most significant Christian holiday, since, as the Apostle Paul says, without Jesus's death and resurrection, the entire Christian faith is "in vain."

So how did Easter go from the day Jesus rose again to the day giant bunnies leave pastel-colored eggs all over your house?

The first historical references we have to an Easter Bunny date to the 16th-century German tale. According to this legend, a mysterious creature named Oschter Haws, or Easter Hare, visited children while they slept and rewarded them for their good behavior (similar to Santa). The children made nests for the hare, which would then lay colored eggs in them.

One theory is that hares were traditionally associated with new life, due to their high fertility rate. Some have theorized that there is a connection between hares and the Anglo-Saxon goddess Eostre the goddess from whose name "Easter" may be derived, according to one source.

Of course, neither rabbits nor hares lay eggs, nor are eggs involved in the biblical story of Easter.

One theory is that eggs relate to Easter symbolically: Just as a hard shell contained new life, so the tomb of Jesus contained his resurrection body.

According to another legend, an egg merchant named Simon of Cyrene was forced to put down his egg basket in order to help Jesus carry his cross to where he would be crucified. When Simon returned to his basket, he found that his eggs had been miraculously decorated.

What is clear is that by the 13th century, it was customary for Christians to abstain from eating eggs during Lent — the 40-day pre-Easter season.

The Easter tradition of egg dyeing, though, probably originated in ancient Christian communities in Mesopotamia that colored chicken eggs red to symbolize the blood of Jesus. (To this day, Orthodox congregations continue this practice.)

Christians also may have picked up the egg symbol from Passover — the hardboiled egg is one of the seven symbols set out on the Seder plate.

The next upcoming Easter is celebrated /observed on Sunday April 1st, 2018. Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The day of Easter falls on a Sunday based on the lunisolar calendar, not a fixed date on the Gregorian or Julian calendar. It has been determined to fall on the Sunday after the full moon following March 21 for Western Christians. Thus Easter will fall between March 22nd and April 25th each year. Although it is not a federal U.S. holiday, many stores are closed or operate minimal hours on this day.

Why Easter should be one of the most important hoildays we celebrate:

Jesus had his last meal with his disciples on the evening of a Thursday (commemorated as Holy Thursday), was arrested during the night, tried Friday morning (Good Friday), condemned, crucified, and died before sundown on Friday. And, according to the Gospel accounts, he was bodily raised from the dead on the third day — Sunday, the day of Easter.

Christ dragged the cross without complaint, sorrow scraped his heart too. He was nailed on the cross, He tasted the bitterness of betrayal mixed with the hardship of injustice.

Why did He not fight? Beg for freedom from the cross? Or curse His fate?

The answer is because He knew glory awaited Him. He was certain eternity was his and He counted on heaven. We should want the same, our souls should cry out and God will hear our plea.

So with the celebration of the resurrection of hope, and the rebirth of our joy, comes a new beginning - our own Easter Sunday.

I know for me while wearing the new outfit of healing, of joy and renewed gusto, I got busy creating a new joy-filled life. When the day comes and my chair is empty at the dinner table, what will my family say about my life? While they scoop up a second helping of mashed potatoes or more slices of honey-baked ham, Will they remember the way I dreaded my Calvary or will they recall how I lived my Easters?

How about you? Have you reached your own Easter of triumph for others to see? Whether sorrow or serenity, we're subtly creating a legacy, weaving memories and painting strokes on our own portrait. The one our family will hold in their hearts.

Remember in the Easters to come, the portrait will display the life we lived, the values we held and the conviction that danced in our heart when we answered:

Did we sink under the weight of our cross?

Did we keep moving with the strength of hope?

Did we relish on our own Easter of joy?

Did we choose to see life beyond circumstances, or did circumstances see us to despair?

Did we face challenges with determination, or did we allow them to determine our destiny?

Did we live life rich with God's reassurance, or did we live empty of His grace?

Did fear steal our joy, or did God's joy erase all fear?

No matter what the answer, there is no cross of pain that can hold us down, no suffering that can hold us back because Jesus is alive. And with passionate Love He declares,

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33.

Easter reminds us how God has been good to us. He gave His own precious son to save us from our sins. Let’s return the favor by sharing our blessings to others. God has given us the gift of hope when He Died and Resurrected on Easter.Let us remind ourselves of this great gift and keep a positive outlook in life.We will always be blessed with prosperity in all things through Him. Easter is a wonderful day to celebrate all Christ has done for us.

 

Have a Blessed Easter!
 
~ Edited by: AMS/ASL NEWSREPORTERS ~
Arrascal, aka Karen and Mimmell, aka Mike









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Monday April 23, 2018
465977 joker12769 [72] S.E. 1 vs 1 vs 1 xXxBaLLa
465976 joker12769 [71] S.E. 2 vs 2 SWEet_pEaa
SLovell_too
Sunday April 22, 2018
465426 2014P00F [15999] S.E. 2 vs 2 tykesam
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465423 2014P00F [15998] S.E. 1 vs 1 2018_Beybi
465069 2014P00F [15997] S.E. 2 vs 2 Kessy
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Saturday April 21, 2018
465068 2014P00F [15996] S.E. 1 vs 1 vs 1 Noonder
465067 2014P00F [15995] S.E. 2 vs 2 Ramesh
CalmKhan
464560 2014P00F [15994] S.E. 2 vs 2 Ramesh
CalmKhan
Friday April 20, 2018
464559 2014P00F [15993] S.E. 1 vs 1 vs 1 jamaican_Spade_G
464558 2014P00F [15992] S.E. 2 vs 2 marigold sky
jjoybear
Thursday April 19, 2018
463920 2014P00F [15991] S.E. 2 vs 2 jjoybear
some1has2lose
Wednesday April 18, 2018
463919 2014P00F [15990] S.E. 1 vs 1 vs 1 Ramesh
463918 2014P00F [15989] S.E. 2 vs 2 CalmKhan
SWEet_pEaa
463917 2014P00F [15988] S.E. 1 vs 1 SWEet_pEaa
463744 DA_COOLEST [1803] S.E. 1 vs 1 Blues_Ladi
463742 DA_COOLEST [1802] S.E. 1 vs 1 SLovell_too
463741 DA_COOLEST [1801] S.E. 1 vs 1 MaKinpa
463740 DA_COOLEST [1800] S.E. 1 vs 1 ChiCubs
463739 DA_COOLEST [1799] S.E. 1 vs 1 vs 1 DA_COOLEST
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