When my children were small, and we had recently moved to St. John’s, our family became members of the church of St. Mary the Virgin in St. John’s. The children were involved in Sunday school and my wife and I joined various groups as well. Growing up with this tight knit group at St. Mary’s began some wonderful traditions for our family. The most special interaction we had as a family was the sunrise service for Easter Sunday. The whole family would get up out of bed early, at 5:00 am to get ready for the 6:00 am service. All six of us would travel to the church to witness the celebration of the risen Lord! This particular service, more than any other, touched our family. The younger children were excited to be up to see the sun rise! The older children were excited for the breakfast which followed the service, and my wife and I were astounded by the feeling that particular service created.
The sunrise service always began with the hymn, “Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!” That hymn was sung with such emotion, it always brought a tear to my eyes. After the long forty days and nights that Jesus spent in the desert, and the tortuous week of being judged and tormented, and the crucifixion itself, Jesus was finally free of his mortal body and was at last seated on his throne with his Father. His death and resurrection led to his greatest reward! Jesus had sacrificed everything for us! All his suffering ended in triumph!
Easter Sunday spent together with our family inspired us to celebrate all that our Lord and saviour, Jesus Christ, did for the whole world! His resurrection meant that we too, would be able to spend eternity with God the Father. Jesus died so that we could be free! The risen Lord means that we can break the bonds of death and ascend into heaven!
This year, as with last year, we are unable to spend it together in the comfort of our church buildings. However, that “special feeling” that was created by our sunrise service is still attainable at home! Maybe we could get out of bed early on Easter Sunday this year to witness the risen Lord with the rising of the sun! Let’s all sing “Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!” in our houses and celebrate the joy that the resurrection brings to each and every Christian! Our circumstances don’t allow us to celebrate together this Easter, but our belief and commitment to our Lord and saviour hasn’t changed! Jesus Christ is risen! Alleluia! Alleluia! May his strength guide and protect you all your days!
Happy, happy Easter my friends!