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Behind the Scenes: Religion & Ethics

Saturday, March 22nd, 2008
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Thirteen blogger: Patti Jette Hanley, Producer Religion & Ethics

Happy Easter – again.

This is our 11th Easter at Religion & Ethics, and every year we find ourselves looking for new angles to cover this most important holiday for Christians. We’ve done the “straight” story: what Easter is and why it is so significant. We’ve covered it from the context of the war in Iraq, the Hurricane Katrina devastation, conflicts in Northern Ireland and the Middle East.

When you look at all these different segments, the theme that ties them together through the years becomes obvious: hope. The story of the Resurrection is the story of ultimate triumph, the defeat of death itself. For Christians, it’s the story of the impossible becoming real. That story provides hope for countless Christians in desperate situations worldwide. It is what they draw upon for strength. I guess that’s what faith is supposed to do, isn’t it?

One of the most evocative images of Easter for me is the Orthodox icon that represents the resurrection, often called the “Harrowing of Hell”. Jesus is front and center, stamping on the crossed doors of hell, with an image of a vanquished Satan cowering underneath. Jesus grasps the wrist of a woman on one side, a man on the other, pulling them out of their tombs – they represent Adam and Eve. The icon just seems to emit power and reassurance that good will triumph over evil, that we can prevail over our difficulties. That we can have hope.

It’s a story that doesn’t seem to get old.

P.J. Hanley

Image courtesy of Jim Forest