Herald-Whig View

Unity that Easter brings welcome all year long

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Apr. 14, 2017 5:00 pm

EASTER is not only considered Christianity's holiest day, but represents one of the few times when denominational walls often separate or disappear altogether.

And that's a good thing.

Whether Protestant or Catholic, during the Easter season there is a welcome unity instead of what is often an unnecessary divisiveness. It is an attitude that should be welcome throughout the year.

The Quincy community is a perfect example of this kind of religious melting pot. We are fortunate to have both strong Catholic and mainstream Protestant contingents, plus several large nondenominational Christian megachurches.

Along with a common message this weekend surrounding the risen Christ there will be an urging of both forgiveness and assistance, plus a call for faith and hope from all Christian denominations.

And that, too, is a good thing.

Pope Francis has said the Easter message accents helping those populations who find themselves in peril, whether their predicament is of their own doing or not.

"Everyone has the right to make a mistake," Pope Francis said this week. "We have all been mistaken in one way or another."

The Rev. Billy Graham, the famed Southern Baptist evangelist once called "America's Pastor," has always preached of tolerance and reconciliation, especially at this time of year.

Graham, now 98 and suffering from Parkinson's disease, had publicly embraced the civil rights movement years before the issue came to the forefront in the early 1960s. He became friends with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and helped post his bail from the Birmingham City Jail after King's 1963 Good Friday arrest.

Author John Pollock once noted, "Billy preached a straight address of love, repentance and faith. National press reporters were stunned at the response, when blacks and whites together streamed forward at the invitation."

Somewhere in between the strong denominational leanings of Pope Francis and Billy Graham are ministers such as the Rev. Rick Warren. Warren is the nationally known pastor of the 20,000-member Saddleback megachurch in Southern California and is often seen in network news bytes.

Warren, also a best-selling author, reminded all a year ago on Easter Sunday, "I don't measure up to my own standards, much less God's.... Nobody is perfect."

On this weekend, that is something all Christian denominations seem to agree upon.

And that might be the best thing.

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