SURRATT: Let’s renew our Christian values at Easter

Published 4:00 am Friday, April 7, 2023

Sunday, as we all are aware, is Easter, a time for religious celebration and joy as people and churches remember Christ’s resurrection, a time of renewal and a time to spend with friends and family and Easter egg hunts as children search for hidden eggs containing candy and other surprises.

I could go into a column about Easters past, covering my recollections of the holiday as a child and watching my daughter’s experiences when she was a child.

But I want to toss out a different topic.

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Like He is at Christmas, Jesus is the reason for the season at Easter and all the gospels read from pulpits on Sunday mornings from Christmas through Easter recall the story of a child born in a manger who grew up to preach and teach people about love and respect for others. Here was a man who was well aware of his times and of the injustices to others. And I guess if He were alive today some people might call Him “woke.”

Woke, that’s an interesting term that’s been tossed about by people on the left and the right — sometimes tossed out by some folks as a child would call another child a “doodie head” especially if there is disagreement on some social or racial issue.

Before I sat down to write this, I looked for a definition of the word besides the past tense of the verb wake. I think the best definition I found was from the Oxford Learners Dictionary website: “aware of social and political issues, especially racism. This word is often used in a disapproving way by people who think that other people are too easily upset about these issues or talk too much about them in a way that does not change anything.”

In the years I’ve been on this earth I can’t recall a time when I have seen more prejudice than I’ve seen now and so much activity aimed at trying to cut off people from society or to prevent people from learning the true history of our country. Our history is not a pretty story and yes, there was a time when men showed their inhumanity to others but it must be learned and remembered so such things do not happen again.

The philosopher George Santayana put it so well when he said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” We are repeating our past — not slavery but the exclusion and disenfranchisement of people of different races, religions and lifestyles and that is wrong. It’s time for positive change.

So with the coming of Easter let’s stop and think about the man who preached loving your neighbor and brotherhood and died for our sins on the cross more than 2,000 years ago. Let’s think about His life and how He lived it and emulate that life. It’s time to renew our love for our fellow man.

Let’s follow one of the definitions of the word “Christian”: “Having the qualities demonstrated and taught by Jesus Christ as love, kindness, humility…” and start being more tolerant, more understanding and making our world better.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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