Straight Talk: Easter begins wind-down time on Marco

Steve Stefanides

It seems as if we were just preparing for a Labor Day cookout or thinking about who was coming over for Thanksgiving. Instead the Easter holiday is just around the corner as I write the column for this week's edition.

A great friend of mine once told me how amazed I'd be as I got older in how quickly time would pass. That a week would seem like a day and a year would go by in a blink of an eye. He was right, for it seems we were just here.

The Easter holiday marks the beginning of the wind-down of season for us here on the island. Traffic will begin to subside, seats at restaurants will begin to open up and the Gulf waters will warm back up into the 80s.

We'll be deluged with ads from national and local merchants for Easter holiday sales. Your kids or grandkids will be looking forward to an Easter egg hunt or two and families will come together for a special holiday Sunday dinner.

Easter marks the beginning of the spring season, when vegetation begins to green, the aroma of flowering plants and trees begin to fill the air and baseball gets ready to consume the American pastime. Spring marks the rebirth of our planet, but it should also mark the rebirth of our souls. All of us should take the time over these next two weekends to celebrate the rebirth of our faith. I say the next two weekends because Western Christianity will celebrate Easter on April 5 and Eastern (Orthodox) Christianity will celebrate on April 12 due to a difference in their calendars.

The purest meaning of Easter is the celebration of Christ's rising from the dead and his ascension into heaven. His resurrection serves as the foundation for Christianity. It represents a second chance for humanity and an opportunity for all who believe to follow him when the time comes to sit with the father in heaven.

The true meaning of many of our holidays unfortunately get lost in their commercialization and the thought of having an extra day off from the grind of work. This is unfortunately true about so many of the important days we have set aside to remember special events or people. Veterans Day, Memorial Day, July Fourth and even Christmas have their true meaning lost, especially with the children of our communities.

It is so important that generations yet to come are tutored in the significance and meaning of what our holidays are about.

Christmas is not about presents, but about the birth of hope for humanity in the birth of a child in a manger. Memorial Day is a day for saying thank you to our veterans who gave their lives in protection of our liberties and freedoms and understanding their sacrifices.

If we as a nation and a people are to continue in a leadership role within the world community, we must ensure future generations have a strong understanding of the many of the principles and beliefs that have propelled us to the position we hold today.

Our dedication to ensuring the true meaning of our holidays is no more important than on these next two Sundays. It might be nice for us all to commit a few moments to reflect on the great gift given to us when the father sacrificed a son, so we all might all have a path to eternal salvation, while living our lives by the standards he preached.