Christ is Resurrected! For he truly is Resurrected!
This is the greeting spoken in Ukraine all during Easter weekend. Ukrainians greet each other and instead of saying hello, they say, "Christ is resurrected" and the other person answers, "For he truly is resurrected." As a missionary, I loved being in Lviv, Ukraine for Easter where people greet each other and walk around with baskets of bread, fruit, jams, eggs and other goodies to give out to family, friends, and even sometimes strangers on the street. The entire weekend is a holiday. People dress in traditional clothing, there are festivals and concerts, families walk the streets together, and churches are full! Easter was lively and much more celebrated than even Christmas for this former atheistic country. Ukrainians love their country, culture, and their freedom.
Spending Easter in a Catholic dominated city helped me to realize how much I love Easter. It's been a favorite holiday of mine for quite awhile and living in Ukraine confirmed that for me. I love everything that Easter represents. I also love the advent of spring and warm weather, robin's eggs, and pastel m&m's, but really I love Easter because of its message. Even more than Christmas, I think Easter provides a time of reflection for what the Savior did for us. Christmas gets busy with traditions and commercialization, but I feel that Easter has escaped some of that. I love Easter as it focuses my thoughts on the Savior and His perfect life. All events led to the time in Gethsemane, on the cross, and eventually out of the garden tomb where He was raised from the dead. The message of the Atonement and Resurrection provides hope and peace. Even in a chaotic world with sorrow, grief, and pain, we can find solace in the Gospel message that Christ lives and has overcome all so that we may too. I know the Savior lives. I know that he lived a perfect life so that He could rise again.
Happy Easter from Washington D.C.!