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Summary: Short sermon for an Easter Sunrise Service

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CELEBRATE THE SONRISE!

MARK 16:1-6

INTRODUCTION… “Easter Morning Joy”; Soft Whispers from Derry's Heart Poems © 2005

This is the dawning of our joyous Easter morn,

Our delight can never end,

For Jesus is risen... He is risen from the dead.

We are embraced in love, He has taken all our death,

His light has broken the night, He has risen, as He said.

The precious One has fought and won - to go ahead,

Calling ..."Come", It is all done.

Joy is now set free, in the hearts of everyone.

SUNRISE http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunrise_(disambiguation); en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunrise

We are gathered here this morning at a very special time of day. We are here at “sunrise.” Sunrise is the instant each and every day at which the upper edge of the sun peeks and appears over the eastern horizon very early in the morning. We call it a sun“rise” because the sun appears to "rise" from the distant dark horizon into the sky. We of course know nowadays that it is actually the Earth's motion that causes the sun to appear so brilliantly on the Earth, but that doesn’t really matter because each sunrise seems to be a small miracle that fills the sky with such promise of a new day.

Sunrises are brilliant and miraculous in my opinion because of the colors that fill the sky. God created sunrises in such a way that air molecules and airborne particles scatter white sunlight as it passes through the Earth's atmosphere and based on the light beams and clouds and moisture in the air… the sky can be orange and red with every beautiful color in between. Each sunrise every day is a unique vivid color-filled creative act! You can view a sunrise anywhere, but certainly with mountains in view or on a beach or with a beautiful cityscape in the background, it adds more beauty to this already wonderful miracle.

Each sunrise signals the start of a new day which in our minds brings with it promises of good things. Perhaps that is why when travelling to Minnesota, Alaska, Florida, Virginia, and West Virginia you can find whole towns named “Sunrise.” Perhaps that is why countless song writers include the word pictures of sunrises in their songs or poets write about this time of day. Even artists paint pictures and landscapes with sunrises often as the time of day portrayed because sunrises hold so much meaning.

For us, the sunrise means…

Fresh Start: each sunrise signals that a new day is beginning which means a fresh start

Optimism: each sunrise means the last day is past and we can hope for a better new day in the present

New Life: each sunrise for some reason is a picture for us of life beginning again and new

SUNRISE ON THE FIRST EASTER MORNING

Of all the sunrises that have happened since the very first one, I can’t imagine any greater morning than the third day after Jesus had been crucified. Friday brought denial, trial, pain, and death. Saturday was a day of hopelessness for many. Yet on Sunday, that first Easter “sunrise” (S-U-N-R-I-S-E) brought with it an actual “Sonrise” (S-O-N-R-I-S-E) which signaled a fresh start, optimism, and new life.

Mark 16:1-6 tells us, “When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus' body. 2 Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3 and they asked each other, "Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?" 4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. 6 "Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.”

We find on that Easter morning, another miracle besides the beautiful sunrise. We find the miracle of the Rise of the Son of God (“Sonrise”). You see, Jesus Christ did not stay dead once He offered Himself on the cross. Jesus paid for sin on the cross and then rose from the dead and conquered death. With His Resurrection, His mission and life purpose was complete.

This sunrise/sunrise of Easter brings with it such promise for us. More than any other sunrise on any other day in history, the sunrise of Easter gives us such hope for a fresh start and a new chance in life. The sunrise of Easter gives us reason for optimism that we have something to life for in this life and strength to face the day. The sunrise of Easter promises us brand new life and a change on the inside more than we ever could have imagined.

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