Easter is a time of renewal. As we turn our thoughts to the resurrection of Christ, we’re reminded that he is our example. Just as he sacrificed himself on the cross and rose from the dead, we are also called to death and resurrection. As the apostle Paul wrote to the Romans, “as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”
The message of the resurrection fills us with hope and sets our soul at ease that through Jesus, we too are reborn. If we’re honest with ourselves, we also know there’s another side to the Easter story. Before there is resurrection, there is also death. Now, we all have our own crosses to bear, but each of us has things that need to be done away with to allow us to be that “new creature” as spoken of in 2 Corinthians. Paul said it best to the Romans, “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Reflection and soul-searching are hard at times, but all of us can benefit from a little more self-examination. I think that’s especially true of those of us who hold a public office. Whether we want to be or not, we are an example. We must always remember that. I feel that the timing of the Easter holiday, so close to the final stretch of the legislative session, provides an opportunity to step back, and think about what’s important.
Speaking only for myself, I believe the role of an elected official is to serve the people. For that reason, I try to focus on legislation that benefits those who may not have the strength, or the means, to have their own voice right now. If you look at the bills I sponsored this year, you won’t find any designed to benefit large corporations or other organizations that already enjoy advantages. You will see several bills that are intended to help victims of violence, protect children or to help people overcome substance use disorders. These proposals reflect my heart, and the reasons I ran for office in the first place.
I don’t say any of these things to polish my own halo. I know me, and I’m astounded every single day that God has allowed me to be in this position in the first place. I’m grateful for the opportunity to be his vessel, and I do not take the responsibility of this office lightly. I feel that those of us who hold elected office have a responsibility far greater than our own interests.
As we near the end of an extremely contentious and difficult legislative session, I hope all of us – myself included – will take a moment this Easter weekend to pause, and consider whether we are living up to the beliefs we claim to follow.
With that said, I wish each and every one of you a joyous Easter. Regardless of whether you go to church, or count yourself as a believer, I hope the miracle of spring fills you with hope and a renewed sense of purpose going forward. He is risen!
I always appreciate hearing your comments, opinions and concerns. Please feel free to contact me in Jefferson City at (573) 751-2459. You may write me at Holly Thompson Rehder, Missouri Senate, State Capitol, Rm 433, Jefferson City, MO 65101, send an email to Holly.Rehder@senate.mo.gov or visit www.senate.mo.gov/Rehder.