|The Easter tradition has been a part of human life on Planet Eden for tens of thousands of years.
As long as the first humans resided in the tropics of Africa and there was no change in season, there was no annual resurrection of life from the dormancy of Winter. Theirs was a land of perpetual Spring.
As humans migrated toward the North over the course of millennia, they entered latitudes in which there were seasonal changes in the length of the days and in the cycle of life.
In the Fall and Winter the days grew shorter and the cold nights longer. The leaves fell from the trees and the Earth appeared to be dying. In the age before the development of modern science, it appeared as if the end of the world was at hand. The spirit of God was beseeched to call a halt to this period of darkness and depression.
At the Winter solstice there began a gradual ending to the darkness of Winter, but still new life had not emerged from the icy landscape and the lingering feeling of unease and depression brought about by the deprivation of sunlight was still on the minds of the people.
Finally the first buds and blossoms of Spring began to emerge from the dead Earth and the leafless branches of the trees. By the time of the Vernal Equinox, the Earth had returned to life with the singing of the birds that had returned from the tropics to build there nests and raise their young.
The bounty of Planet Eden returned in all its glory with myriad flowers, and the sprouting of food crops. An abundance of fresh food and natural light meant that their Winter prayers had been answered and the people began to feel a sense of happiness and joy.
With the resurrection of the Earth came a natural human desire to celebrate and thus a FESTIVAL OF JOY became associated with the Easter season, long before the Crucifixion of Christ.
We are gathered here in an ancient spiritual tradition of joy and celebration to witness the rising of the sun and to give thanks to God for the glorious resurrection of Creation.
For Christian Ethicians there is the additional joy in celebrating the resurrection of Jesus, which to them symbolizes eternal life promised to those who accept Jesus as their personal Savior.
For Jewish Ethicians there is the special joy associated with the celebration of Passover and its significance as the anniversary of the freedom from slavery of their ancestors.
For Ethicians of other faith traditions, the Easter season likewise symbolizes the death and resurrection of life on Planet Eden and the eternal circle of life of all Creation.
Regardless of our spiritual heritage, let us give thanks to God for this special day and for this special time in which to watch the dawn of a new day in which all Creation rejoices.
We shall give thanks to God for the joyful songs of the birds as they celebrate the renewal of life.
We shall give thanks to God for the beauty of the butterflies as they dance for joy at the sight of the myriad blossoms of Spring.
We shall give thanks to God for the smiling faces of our friends and family and for the joyful knowledge that our spirits will some day merge with the spirit of God in the eternal cycle of life on Planet Eden and the glorious infinity of the Universe.
Easter is indeed a FESTIVAL OF JOY for all humanity and all Creation.
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