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“He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.” -Matthew 28:6

This week, we celebrate the holiest day in the Christian calendar – the day of Jesus’ resurrection. Christians around the world are celebrating God raising our savior from the dead, granting us our salvation, and marking the beginning of a new hope for our faith.

Easter is the perfect time to spend with the people that we love most. In recent years, Bryon and I have spent our Easter Sundays hosting the annual Easter Egg Hunt at the Governor’s Residence. While we have had some great times with the kids at the Easter Egg Hunt, I think my favorite Easter memories were spent back at the ranch with my family.

Most of our Easters were spent waking up, the kids opening their Easter baskets, going to church, and then gathering as a family for lunch and spending the afternoon together. Unless, of course, there was a blizzard or bad weather – then we were home caring for our cattle and working together as a family to support our livestock and the family business. I have a very vivid memory of a bad blizzard on Easter Sunday right after Bryon and I were married. At one point, my dad turned to me and said, “I’ve never seen work as hard as this.” I was shocked. I though, “wow, my dad works harder than anybody I’ve ever met. And if he’s never seen work like this before, we must really be working hard!”

I could go on and on about all the memories I have to look back on from Easter Sundays spent with my own family. And while it is great to reflect on the past, I have always thought of Easter as a time of new beginnings – a time to look towards the future, as well.

Jesus’ death and resurrection is the ultimate symbol of new beginnings. This historic event started the Christian faith, it started the church, and it marked the beginning of mankind’s reconciliation with God. Because of the events of Easter, all of us who have faith in Jesus Christ have hope of new life.

Easter also typically falls around the beginning of spring – yet another symbol of new beginnings. Of course, here in South Dakota, we still have snow on the ground. We just had a pretty brutal winter storm. Fortunately, it was not as bad as it could have been. And I was happy to see and hear about so many folks across our state embracing the spirit of the Easter season and lending their neighbors a helping hand. Whether it’s people helping an elderly neighbor shovel their driveway, or a small town coming together to help their farmers care for their newborn calves during the winter weather, I have seen so many helping others. It makes me proud to be a South Dakotan.

But hopefully we will soon see the snow and ice thaw and the grass and flowers grow and bloom. I hope that this Easter we can all remember that because the work of Jesus, we are no longer bound by death, but we can grow in faith and love just like the flowers will grow as spring comes.

Bryon and I wish everyone a very happy Easter. God bless you.

Author: Kristi Noem


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