The Freedom Valley Chronicles: Easter Sunday

It’s Easter Sunday.

Bells will peal from Plymouth Meeting to Conshohocken.  Music will sound from West Conshohocken to Lafayette Hill.

Many little kids will be munching on peeps, counting jelly beans, and debating whether to first bit a chocolate bunny’s ear or a rabbit’s head.

Many parents will be comforting those same children later in the day as all that sugar may do a number on their tummies.

Christians of most denominations will be in church today to celebrate Easter – the resurrection of Jesus, the Christ.  (Orthodox Christian churches will celebrate Easter Sunday next week.)

Whether they be twice-a-year (Christmas and Easter) Catholics or devout Nazarenes who attend services twice weekly, many of these Christians may see their attendance at Easter services as a way to re-charge.  To give meaning to life.  To try to be a better person.

Some will be dressed in brand new suits.  Others will wear pastel-colored dresses.  Some will have their slacks freshly ironed and wear a nice shirt.

Some will stand and clap.  Some will knell.  Others will genuflect.  Still others will sing songs of joy (even if a little off key).

Many have called churches “hospitals for sinners”.  Today, many of those “hospitals” will be overflowing with “patients”.

This coming week, we’ll publish the fourth part of The Freedom Valley Chronicles – Patco Airport.  The person we profile in that news column is a person who survived a plane crash at that airport in Plymouth Township.

A person who spoke up for Jews and spoke out against Nazism.  A person who was beaten by two thugs for speaking up for Jews and for speaking out against Nazism.  A person who advocated for equal rights for African-Americans when such advocacy was not welcomed by many.  A person who saw religious faith as a personal matter.  Not something to wear on one’s sleeves.

A person who served their community, their state, and their country.

This person invoked a specific Biblical passage on a regular basis.  Micah 6:8.

On this Easter Sunday, whether you believe in Jesus, the Christ;  whether you are of a faith other than Christianity;  or whether you choose not to have a specific religious faith or choose to have no religious faith at all, please reflect on the words of Micah 6:8.

Micah, a Jewish Prophet, is seen here speaking to Israelites.
He is remembered in the Roman Catholic Church
annually with a Feast Day on December 21st.
He is remembered in the Eastern Orthodox Churches
annually with a Feast Day on August 14th.

Please note that like most other aspects of the Bible, there are different translations of Micah 6:8.  The first one quoted below is from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.  The second one quoted below is from the King James Version of the Bible.  Other versions, though with different wording, are similar in tone and context.

You have been told, O mortal, what is good,
and what the LORD requires of you:
Only to do justice and to love goodness,
and to walk humbly with your God.

He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good;
and what doth the LORD require of thee,
but to do justly, and to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with thy God?

Whether this Sunday (or next Sunday, if you’re Orthodox Christian) is the holiest day in your faith’s calendar or just another day at work or another day when you can relax, may you find this day to be one filled with justice, mercy, love, and goodness.

The image of Micah is courtesy of a work of Gustave Dore in Dore’s English Bible, 1866.

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© 2018 Richard McDonough