Easter Sunrise Service - April 12th, 2020
Friends – this message is a repeat of the first Easter Sunrise Service I celebrated at Concord Presbyterian Church. The date was March 27th, 2016. The Reverend Sam Fulton of Concord AME Zion Church and his congregation joined us. As did my friends of the Early Morning String Dusters. We held the service at a neighboring farm, overlooking the river as the sun rose. It was one of those moments in time that is forever recorded in my mind. A glorious time.
Here’s my brief meditation for that morning (I’ll do my best in translating the few notes I had that morning):
We’re here to celebrate the one unique thing about the Christian faith – the Resurrection. But before the Why? And the How? The Resurrection has to first be experienced. The only way you can hear the Word is if you have a firsthand encounter. Once that has happened, you will see the “Dynamic Duo” of faith – Power and Grace – at work.
First, salvation is God’s free gift of His Love. A gift – not an achievement. You can make yourself “moral”. You can make yourself “religious”. You cannot make yourself “saved”. You cannot make yourself “loved”. As the Word instructs us, “We love because He first loved us.” Think of that affirmation. Like a moment that says YES from the top of your head to the tips of your toes! Like laughing until you cry; watching this beautiful sunrise; or being with someone you love. Such a moment opens your life – when it does, grasp it! Don’t let go – it may save your soul.
The Resurrection – take its Power and Grace for what it is – the Radical Presence of God! When that happens, things are going to change. Lives, souls, relationships, communities, the world – all under the power of the resurrection. What is both Good and New about the Good News is the mad insistence that Jesus lives on among us. Not as just another haunting memory – but as the outlandish, holy, and invisible power of God – working still through His Holy Sacraments. What is both Good and New about the Good News is that God will bring about a transformation of our hearts – for the increase of the love of God & Neighbor.
The power of the resurrection is simply this – the righteous movement of God. By this alone salvation enters the realm of earthly affairs. It changes our relationship with all our spheres of operation in the world. His victory takes over our lives.
Power and Grace – a Grace so vast – look around you – and a Grace that is also free. Every blessing that comes from God has the same message attached – “More to Follow”. I forgive you your sins – but there’s more to follow. I justify you in the righteousness of Christ – “More to follow”. I adopt you into my family – “More to follow”. I educate you for heaven – “More to follow”. I give you grace upon grace – “More to follow”. I have helped you even to old age – “More to follow”. I will uphold you in the hour of death, and as you are passing into the world of spirits, my mercy shall still continue with you, and when you land in the world to come there shall still be “More to follow!” The power and the grace of the resurrection is the celebration of God’s love. Power to change “in the twinkling of an eye”, and Grace that is vast, free, and abundant for living!