Growing up in the Clarke household, Easter was a very special time. As a young teenager, I remember waking up at 5:00am to get ready for the Easter Sunday sunrise service. It was one of the few church services where the entire family attended church at the same time. On other Sundays, my mother would normally attend the 8:00am service, as Sunday cooked dinner was another must in the Clarke household; she would stay home for the 11:00am service to cook. I know by today’s standards that is sexist, but dad couldn’t boil a kettle, and mom is a great cook!
Anyway, Easter Sunday sunrise service is still very vivid in my mind from all those years ago. It seemed to me as though on every Easter Sunday, the sun was shining brightly as we drove to church. I know that isn’t possible because we live in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, but in my mind’s eye that is how I remember those sunrise services. I can see the rays of light dancing off the cross that was hanging behind the altar. The reflection on that cross on Easter Sunday was more brilliant than it was on the Sunday before or the Sunday after. The organ music also had a different sound at the sunrise service. When the clergy and choir began to walk down the aisle singing “Jesus Christ is Risen Today, Alleluia!”, I had goosebumps on my arms because of the joyousness and powerfulness with which the hymn was sung! Those sunrise services were magical to me when I was growing up!
All these years later, my favourite service is still Easter Sunday. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is such a gift from God to us. Jesus paid the ultimate price for our sins. He spent hours on a cross, suffering in pain so that we would be able to one day go to heaven to be with our Father. His sacrifice means that every one of us can go to a heavenly reward after death. Jesus cleared the way for us to spend eternity in heaven—a place so fantastic that the Bible says we can’t begin to imagine how wonderful heaven is until we actually get there! Our minds can not produce the glory and splendour of being in the same place as the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Considering all the technology that humankind has created and all the things we can imagine, how marvellous is heaven going to be?
During these awful times where war and disease and torment are unfortunately a part of daily life, we, as Christians, should remember and focus on Jesus’ great sacrifice for us. He died that we might live! Through belief, we will have a great reward after death. No matter how hopeless our world feels, have faith that God will see us all through the chaos.
God bless you all and Happy Easter!