Washington (CNN) - Politics were put aside Saturday as President Barack Obama wished the American people a Happy Easter in his weekly address.
In remarks to people of all faiths, “believer or nonbeliever,” the President noted the special time of year, for Christians and Jews especially, and called on all to “love and serve one another, particularly ‘the least of these’ among us.”
“This Sunday, Michelle, Malia, Sasha, and I will join our fellow Christians around the world in celebrating the Resurrection of Christ, the salvation he offered the world, and the hope that comes with the Easter season. These holy days have their roots in miracles that took place long ago. And yet, they still inspire us, guide us, and strengthen us today,” he said.
The President celebrated Passover earlier this week with the fifth Seder at the White House Tuesday. Obama is the first president to host a Seder dinner while in office.
“In America, the Passover story has always had special meaning. We come from different places and diverse backgrounds, but we are bound together by a journey from bondage to liberty enshrined in our founding documents and continued in each generation,” he said Tuesday.
Obama also made an appeal to people of other faiths in his Saturday address, calling to mind one idea at the heart of the world’s major religions.
“The common thread of humanity that connects us all – not just Christians and Jews, but Muslims and Hindus and Sikhs – is our shared commitment to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. To remember, I am my brother’s keeper. I am my sister’s keeper. Whatever your faith, believer or nonbeliever, there’s no better time to rededicate ourselves to that universal mission,” he said.
The weekly address is usually a time when the President speaks directly to the American people about an issue of particular importance or prominent in the national conversation in that moment. Many of Obama’s have been about raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour or enacting stricter regulation of firearms, for example.
He is likely to take up such issues once again next week as he travels in East Asia on a long-scheduled trip.
But for this week, the President got a bit more personal.
“For me, Easter is a story of hope – a belief in a better day to come, just around the bend. So to all Christians who are celebrating, from my family to yours, Happy Easter. And to every American, have a joyful weekend,” he said.