Summary: Easter 2017 Son Rise service

2017 Easter Sunrise service

I love sunrise

I wish I rested and slept enough to see them all

Over the years I have looked at many Sunrises

In many locations

I remember sitting around a charcoal fire in Chong we village Zambia

Waiting with anticipation for what God had on the agenda for the day

The African sun rising though the haze of wood and charcoal smoke

The cool crisp air causing us to draw near the fire and pull the blankets we had made coats out of around us close we waited for the warmth the sun would bring

Many mornings patiently waiting for the light of the sun

On the side of a mountain watching for elk

In a deer blind with my Dad, remembering the sounds of the morning – seeing deer everywhere I looked only to have the light show them for the rocks and brush they were

I remember many sunrises from the back of a horse pushing cattle toward the pens so we could begin the days sorting and shipping

Or checking calving heifers to make sure they had made it through the night

Sunrises on the banks of many rivers

Sunrises on many lakes from east Texas to Africa

Or ocean listening to the waves as the boat or ship pushed on towards the destination

Many sunrises just on the front porch a hot cup of coffee, a dog at my feet

Waiting for it to get light enough to read God’s word

Waiting for what the day will bring

In anticipation



I also can remember other sunrises and other emotions

I remember praying with a family a few years back that had lost their mother in a house fire

As he sunrise , I felt their pain, mourned with them and tried to give comfort

As we began the process of recovering her body

I remember waiting with a family with my crew as we watched for the body of their son to surface following his drowning earlier that evening

The sun coming up

A lump in our throats

Wanting to comfort the family

Unable to find the words, not know what to say

Hoping and praying that just our presence would give some comfort

I see in my mind

The sun coming up

Over burned houses and apartment building

People’s belonging reduced to just charred remains

The sun coming up over

Twisted metal that used to be cars

And lifeless bodies that just a short time earlier had had the breath of God inside of them

Seeing in the light ---the destruction- the desperation

The loss of life and property

Other sunrises bring different memories

The day after my dad’s death

Awake all night -Unable to sleep- Exhausted but

Up at the crack of dawn



Asking why?

On other sunrises

Sitting in a hospital waiting for the doctors to come

And tell me a friend or family member had lost their battle


Sun rises bring many emotions to the surface for me

And I have no doubt as you look back at the sunrises of your life

Your stories although different from mine

Share a familiarity

Times of excitement

Times of disappointment

Times of elation

And times of despair

Sun rises

Seems to hold the ability

To get us thinking about the past- Remembering

Thinking about the present- Meditating

Or thinking about the future – Contemplating

Some 2000 years ago

There was a Sunrise

I have no doubt it was similar in appearance to this one

And I know

It brought with it many emotions

Let me read for you from God’s word

The account of this special sun rise

John 20:1-18

Early on Sunday morning,[a] while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. 2 She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, “They have taken the Lord’s body out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

3 Peter and the other disciple started out for the tomb. 4 They were both running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He stooped and looked in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he didn’t go in. 6 Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, 7 while the cloth that had covered Jesus’ head was folded up and lying apart from the other wrappings. 8 Then the disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in, and he saw and believed— 9 for until then they still hadn’t understood the Scriptures that said Jesus must rise from the dead. 10 Then they went home.

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