Easter Sunrise Meditation
Good Morning, and Happy Easter to all of you! I have something in this box
that I would like to share with you all. It is this. What is it, you might ask?
Well, it is an Easter egg. I need one volunteer to help me out with this. Now…this
egg is kind of a special Easter egg. You can see that it is not decorated, and I
have to admit something. I didn't cook it. Are you sure you still want to help
me? Now what happens when you crack open an egg that is not cooked…no matter
how pretty it is on the outside? That's right…its insides come pouring out.
Well, let's see what happens here. (Cracked open empty egg over volunteer's
head.) Much like the tomb on that morning so long ago, the egg is empty.
Now there are a few ways to react to what you just saw. You can see it and
decide that it is no big deal. After all, anyone can take an everyday ordinary
egg and clear the insides out of it. It doesn't take too much to do. But maybe
you saw it and were a bit surprised. It wasn't what you were expecting, but you
will just keep it to yourself and maybe laugh about the look on Patrick's face
when I cracked the egg over his head. Or maybe you were surprised and you want
to tell people about it, share it with some friends, your Sunday School class,
or maybe in a children's sermon with the young people at your church. We each
have different reactions to the things we see, we hear, and we experience…and
this is no different.
The story of the resurrection also makes us think and decide what we are
going to do with the information we are given. We are invited into a story in
scripture that challenges us to think differently. It was perhaps an Easter Dawn
about the same time as it is right now. There was a group of women who had gone
to the trouble of purchasing the spices and ointments for anointing Jesus' body.
It says that it was early on Sunday morning when the women approached the tomb.
In their minds they knew a few things. They knew that the man they had looked to
for their salvation was only a short walk away lying dead in a tomb. They knew
that what they were about to do would make them realize that his death was real.
They knew that the stone they would have to roll away was very heavy and would
lend an obstacle to the important task at hand.
Then the women reached the tomb, and the heavy stone had been rolled away.
They walked inside and Jesus' body was gone. Instead, there was an angel in the
tomb who spoke to them and said that Jesus was no longer dead but had risen, and
that they were to tell all of the disciples and others about what they saw
there. If I were in their shoes I don't know that "startled" would be
enough to describe how I would be feeling standing there at that moment.
The ending to this version of the resurrection story says that the women fled
from the tomb trembling and bewildered, and that they said nothing to anyone
because they were too frightened to talk. There are two other endings to Mark's
version of this story, though. The longest one says that Mary Magdalene went to
the disciples who were grieving and weeping with the message of what the women
had seen, and the disciples did not believe her. Then two of the disciples saw
Jesus on the road, and they still did not believe that his resurrection was
real. Finally, the risen Christ came to the disciples, and after a few choice
words they believed that he was truly risen from the dead. Then, Jesus
commissioned the disciples sending them out into the world to preach the good
news to everyone everywhere, to baptize people into the faith, and to work
miracles and heal people.
In these different versions of the gospel story we see examples of what our
own reactions can be to the news of Jesus' resurrection on this Easter dawn.
Much like our possible reactions to the special Easter egg, we can choose not to
believe in this news at all, or think that it is no big deal, despite what we
have been taught and experienced otherwise. We can choose to believe the news
but to keep it to ourselves instead of sharing it with others. Or we can choose
to believe the good news of Christ's resurrection and to share that news with
those around us. To share the joy of this Easter morning, this Easter
Celebration, this amazing sunrise and the knowledge that Jesus' gift is the
ultimate gift…to give his life so that ours can be saved, so that we can be
brought to new life. We know that we did not do anything to deserve this gift of
new and abundant life…nor can we repay it.
As we stand here on this Easter morning, we have come through the reflective
and repentant time of Lent and the pain and intensity of Holy Week. We must
realize that this Easter day is not the only day when we remember what happened
all those years ago, but that we are to remember every day. And that we are not
to forget that the whole story of Jesus' life…his birth, his teaching, his
behaviors, his death, and finally his resurrection are all a piece of our
The challenge this Easter morning is for each of us with this knowledge to
decide how we will react. We have been offered an amazing gift in the life of
Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer, the question on this Easter Dawn is: what
will we choose to do with it? Will we choose not to believe? Will we choose to
believe but keep it to ourselves? Or will we choose to believe and share it with
all those around us? For Christ is risen. Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia and