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Easter's competition new and old

By ERICA JAHN

Staff writer

As war and uncertainty continue in the Middle East, one of the most important observances of the year is unfolding for Christians.

And despite the commercialization of what is the holiest of holidays for faithful Christians, Easter is still a celebration of resurrection and life.

“We’re a community of faith,” said Father Clarence Jones of St. Vincent de Paul Catholic parish in Federal Way. “Whether we’re celebrating Easter or not, throughout the year, we’re celebrating our faith. It’s all tied up with ‘For God so loved the world.’”

For Christians, Easter is a solemn remembrance and joyful celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christians believe that through his crucifixion, God opened the doors of salvation to everyone.

Pastor Peter Lai, of Community Christian Church, said the resurrection is the most important thing for Christians, but he added there should be as much remembrance of the death of Jesus Christ as there is celebration of his return to life.

“There is suffering and there are glorious days,” he said. “There has to be balance between the two. We sing hallelujah, but we should also remember he died.”

Most congregations hold special services, including candlelight vigils and sunrise breakfasts, in observance of one of the highest holidays on the Christian calendar.

That’s not to say candy-filled baskets and egg hunts aren’t enjoyed by children and adults alike, but those are “more of a family thing,” Clarence said.

The war in Iraq has cast a shadow on much of life, and people are asking themselves what it’s all about, Clarence said. Many are searching for security and peace to counter the violence and fear.

“In the world today, we feel so fragile and we feel so vulnerable,” he said. “There are many titles for Jesus, and one is the Prince of Peace. The peace he offers is a peace the world can’t give.”

But, Clarence said, the lessons Jesus Christ taught can show people how to bring some measure of peace back to the temporal world.

“As the world escalates violence, we want to escalate love,” he said. “As the world escalates vengeance, we want to escalate forgiveness. As the war escalates go-get-’em, we want to escalate compassion.”

Staff writer Erica Jahn: 925-5565, ejahn@fedwaymirror.com

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