The world seems much in need of a glad heart these days. With hostage-taking, invasions, inflation, hunger, and stresses of all kinds threatening to overwhelm , people yearn for assurance that answwers can be found, that all somehow will be made well. What better time and occasion to renew our faith than in this glorious Easter season with its celebration of life and the surmounting of adversity.
Is Easter relevant? Is Christianity relevant? We not only deeply believe it is, but we are convinced that it is a rededication to the profound truths of Christ Jesus' teachings and their practice which will lead us out of our difficulties. Mankind gropes for answers in all directions. If only we had an energy program, people say. If only there was a plan to cure inflation. Mostly , they complain, if only we had an inspired leader who could provide new direction and lift us above the gloom.
Yet what is needed most is that we, each and every individual, lift ourselves first. The problems may appear economic and political but they are in larger part moral and spiritual. For they spring from those darker sides of nature -- from the selfishness, the overindulgence, the greed -- which set men against each other and produce conflict. Surely the antidote is that regeneration of thought and act which Christ Jesus proved would elevate men's lives above the mundance into the heaven already within them. Compassion, merecy, kindness, generosity, purity, goodness, a longing for spirituality -- these were the qualities he urged his followers to cultivate.
And what victories the Christly power of such moral and spiritual invigoration brings! As Jesus' sublime example showed us, it heals sickness. It reconciles enemies. IT meets human needs. It stills the tumult of destructive forces. It demolshes material limitation. It even overcomes death.
Christians may feel their understanding yet too feeble to reach such heights of demonstration of divine power and grace. But the task, as the Bible parable would have it, is to persist. In the midst of our struggles we can be reassured by the promise of the master Christian, who foretold today's turbulence and, after his resurrection, comforted the disciples with these words: "In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
Our cheer at this season can therefore be great. May this Easter bring a new vitality to our Christian faith -- a fresh determination to purify and free our own individual lives as the one and certain pathway to humanity's freedom.