Sermons

Summary: Easter Sunrise Devotional

Easter Sunrise Service

April 8, 2007

Scripture & Opening Prayer:

Opening Comments:

The sun is barely rising above the horizon, yet our hearts should be soaring in its light with the good news of Christ’s resurrection. Today’s dawn reminds us of the dawn 2000 years that not only brought a new day but new life and hope. The chill of the morning cannot dampen our spirits as we sing “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today!”

Hymn: Christ the Lord Is Risen Today

Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!

Earth and heaven in chorus say, Alleluia!

Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!

Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply, Alleluia!

Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!

Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!

Death in vain forbids him rise, Alleluia!

Christ has opened paradise, Alleluia!

Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!

Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!

Once he died our souls to save, Alleluia!

Where’s thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!

Soar we now where Christ has led, Alleluia!

Following our exalted Head, Alleluia!

Made like him, like him we rise, Alleluia!

Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!

Devotional:

We confidently proclaim that we believe Christ rose from the dead. But sometimes the way we run and hide in fear…or worry about what we may find ourselves faced with…or the decisions we make regarding those things to which we devote our time seem to demonstrate that He’s either not alive or not alive in us!

I’m always reminded of the disciples who hid behind locked doors after the crucifixion of Christ or the women who walked to the tomb to offer the final service of honor for their slain Savior or the two on the road to Emmaus. While Jesus was with them they were bold and confident in his claim to be the Son of God. But in death we find them shaken, living in fear and confusion and going about their daily business as though he was no more. We must be careful that we don’t live our lives as though Christ is dead. We must be careful to remember that as our living Lord He is with us always wherever we may be! He stands ready, not only to help us but to prepare the way for us if we will but yield to His Lordship.

On this special day and those leading up to this Easter Sunday we are reminded that He is the Son of God and our hearts rejoice with the knowledge that He not only lives but He lives in Us.

We stand in awe at the words of the angels who tell us that he is not there, but he has risen. We are shaken Jesus speaks to Mary telling her to tell others about the good news.

Oh, that God would forgive us when we get so wrapped up in sorrow, death, and hopelessness and we forget the joy of living in the light of the promise of the resurrection. Let the light of this Easter dawn shine brightly in our hearts, lighting our journey of discipleship, love, and hope.

Did you not know? Have you not heard? Christ is risen! Fear is banished! You, the beloved, have been given new life through the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Praise be to God.

In the early morning hours we have gathered to await what we hope will be good news. So much of our time is spent anticipating the worst things that can happen. Yet today, in this very place, at this time, the news is spectacular.

Jesus who died upon the cross has been raised from the dead by the love of God. Death did not have the final say. God had the final word, and that word is the eternal love of Jesus Christ.

We stand in the chill and wonder if this resurrection has a special reality for us. It does, indeed! Our fears, our anxiety, our alienation and loneliness have been conquered by Christ.

Beyond our greatest fear is his hand reaching out to us, beckoning us to come with him, to believe, to know that God is with us at all times and in all places. We do not have to fear. As the sun’s rays peek over the horizon, let the warmth of God’s love pour into your hearts. Christ is risen! AMEN.

Chorus: In the Name of the Lord

There is strength in the name of the Lord;

There is power in the name of the Lord;

There is hope in the name of the Lord!

Blessed is he who comes in the Name of the Lord.

Reader 1: It’s cold out here. It’s too early to be getting up, to come to worship, to find…what?

Reader 2: What is it that you most dearly need?

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