In the midst of all consuming political debates in Washington, it is welcome and refreshing to see on the calendar that the Easter season is once again upon us.
It’s a unique holiday in many ways because it brings to mind so many warm memories and feelings.
For many, the arrival of Easter means spring. Longer days and warmer weather transform our winter-weary hills and hollows as the first green buds appear to soon provide inviting shade under our backyard trees. There is an exciting, more joyful feel all around – it is a time of rebirth and renewal.
At home, with family, kids and grandkids, with Easter egg hunts and chocolate bunnies and jelly beans, and the memories of Easter Sundays past still fresh, the Easter story is never far from our hearts and homes across our State.
On Palm Sunday, Jesus entered the City of Jerusalem to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Passover. At the time, Jerusalem was occupied by the Roman army. He was cheered by the people who laid palm leaves in his path, but ultimately arrested as authorities grew anxious about his popularity.
Senator Byrd often remarked on Jesus’ courage, walking into Jerusalem knowing that he would be arrested. He said it was a remarkable act of faith to go willingly to one's tragic end, seeing through the suffering to the miracle of resurrection, smiling at the people he knew could not aid or protect him.
In the Book of John, a core article of the Christian faith can be found in the passage that reads: “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.”
For Christians throughout the world, this is the promise of a larger cycle of rebirth and renewal.
And in this season, these poetic words and the wonderful verses so familiar and so comforting to old and young alike, that comprise the Easter and Christmas stories, celebrate a milestone. This year, the King James Bible, the most printed and widely distributed work in history, celebrates its 400th year of publication.
I recently had the pleasure of introducing a resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives to commemorate the occasion. It recognizes the King James Version of the Bible as the first English language Bible to be published in the United States; its unique contribution in shaping the English language and the culture of the United States; the inspired concepts of civil government contained in our founding documents, and subsequent laws.
Like the rock of ages, so many of us have relied on the King James to steady our lives, guide us daily, and steer us toward our destinies. Celebrating the miraculous work of the King James in this, the season of renewal and eternal hope is fitting. After 400 years, and as we take stock of our lives and redouble our efforts, this book continues its significant role for countless individuals, families, and communities. I hope you will enjoy reading the resolution which can be found on my Congressional webpage at: rahall.house.gov and I welcome, as always, your thoughts and prayers.
All these common threads weave this season into an annual favorite for me – whether enjoying the weather, or being with family, or attending services on Easter Sunday – there is a constancy and comfort in knowing that springtime traditions continue year after year, generation after generation.
I hope families across southern West Virginia can share in the hope and faith of this season.
U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV) represents West Virginia’s 3rd District
For more information contact: Diane Luensmann (202) 225-3452