To my Christian friends and family: Happy Easter!

Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus from the tomb on the third day after his crucifixion. It is the fulfilled prophecy of the Messiah who would be persecuted, die for our sins, and rise on the third day. Remembering the resurrection of Jesus is a way for us Christians to renew daily hope that we have victory over sin while living our lives with love, acceptance and forgiveness.

Although we may celebrate Easter differently this year by watching streamed church services or personally reflecting on the importance of Easter because we cannot go to church, the message of salvation and renewal is still the same. It is an even more important message in this time of the Coronavirus.

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During this period of crisis, I have been uplifted by seeing the country, state and our town come together with acts of kindness and support to care for those who have the virus or those who have become helpless due to the restrictions imposed on them due to the virus. These acts of kindness and mercy are reflective of the character and compassion of our residents and the spirit of Easter.  

Let the message of hope and renewal this Easter guide us as we conquer and emerge from the scourge of the Coronavirus.  Yes, we have suffered extreme changes in our lifestyle, and experienced the agony of seeing our friends and family become ill and unfortunately in some cases die.  But as we all pull together, I believe we are entering a period of renewed hope, and I believe we will be better for it due to our caring for each other.

In these trying times, a special Easter thanks to our front-line essential workers – doctors, nurses, hospital employees, first responders, the municipal staff, the gas station attendants, etc. These workers expose themselves to the potential of getting the virus so that lives can be saved and most of us can live our lives as normal as possible.

Let me wish my Jewish friends and neighbors who are celebrating Passover, which also represents renewal and hope, Chag Sameach!  

So again, Happy Easter.  And if I meet you in town because we had to go out, I’ll greet you through my mask, wave to you with my gloves on, and be sure that we are at least six feet apart.  Small discomforts to defeat this vicious virus and save lives.

Al Smith
Mayor of Scotch Plains