He is Risen Indeed!
In the very early morning hours while it was still dark my mother would awaken us up from our slumber exclaiming in a hushed tone – “Christ is Risen!” – and of course we were expected to respond – “He is Risen Indeed!” (which we always did although sometimes quite unenthusiastically when we became “tired” teens) We would then get up & get dressed and head out into the darkness to drive to a sunrise service. These services were always filled with an amazing sense of awe and majesty as the power of our risen Lord seemed to fill the air and we breathed in His presence. As the sun rose above the horizon and we sang songs of the risen Savior, it all came alive to me in a new and fresh way. It is these moving experiences of Easter Sunrise Services, late night church services on a candlelit Christmas Eve, Christian Summer Camp Meetings, sitting alone in a beautiful chapel or sanctuary talking to God, powerful worship and special communion times that have all been a part of what caused me to fall in love with the Lord and develop an intimate relationship with Him.
And as an adult, sunrise services still bring me to tears as I sit in the dark of the early morning and watch the sun arise and join together with fellow believers to celebrate the resurrection. I hope that my children will catch this same heart of fire for the Lord as we cultivate these traditions. In our early family years when we had many little ones, we held a simple sunrise service in our very own backyard. Nine years ago the pastors of our city came together and began a city wide sunrise service in our community downtown on the waterfront. We have attended every year since its inception. And it is AWESOME! (If you are reading this blog and live in the Stockon area – you should make every effort to BE THERE!)
It is awesome to:
be up at that early hour and sense the same reality of those who came the tomb on the morning of the resurrection. (Think of the song that begins – “Was it a morning like this?”)
watch the sun rise and take in the breathtaking beauty & majesty of Gods creation.
worship with fellow believers in the risen Lord from all denominations! (“How good & pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!”)
listen to the story of Jesus and His triumphant Resurrection! (the story never gets old!)
remember & celebrate the day that you first became aware that Christ died for YOU and that He conquered death, hell & the grave so you could have eternal life. It is truly an amazing indescribable love!
Here is our family this morning at the Stockton Sunrise Service –
The message was especially inspirational and we were moved to adjust our morning plans and pick up some boxes of coffee at Starbucks and pass it out while we were downtown and tell them – “Christ is Risen!”