Easter Sunrise Devotional 2020
We encourage you to set your alarms early this Easter (or perhaps you have trouble sleeping late) and invite you to participate in a sunrise devotion. Curl up with your favorite warm beverage, perhaps out on the porch, and begin this holy day in prayer and meditation. Click each hymn number to open a PDF document of the hymn's text. Links to recordings of each hymn are provided as well.
An Easter Sunrise Devotional - April 12, 2020
A SCRIPTURE READING (Luke 24:1-7, NIV)
On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’”
HYMN #469 “Morning Has Broken,” The Presbyterian Hymnal
Listen to a recording by Cat Stevens
A POEM FOR REFLECTION (“Why Seek Ye the Living among the Dead” by Mat Meyer)
Did You wake to hear the sparrows sing—
the cardinals cry—that early spring?
When like cracking ice the earth had split asunder
and stone rolled off like April thunder?
Like the song of wind chimes o’er the air
the angel greeted women weeping there:
“You seek the Christ, who was a seed entombed
but your Christ, like tree buds, has re-bloomed.”
It is a providential coincidence for those of us who enjoy the blessing of four seasons that Easter falls in early spring. The crocuses have already bloomed in front yards, the daffodils have sprung up along River Road and the dogwoods have begun to flower in the parks. The cold, hard soil and the skeletal tree limbs have both once more sprung to life. Just as nature experiences “resurrection” in spring, we too experience resurrection through Easter.
We believe that in Jesus’ death on the cross, atonement is made for our sins, and we believe that in Jesus’ resurrection from the grave, we are set free from the power of sin. Like the trees that bud and the flowers that bloom, the Holy Spirit blossoms in our lives as we are raised to new life with Jesus. Going forth from this Easter morning, we seek to “produce fruit in keeping with repentance.” In this time of pandemic especially, we seek creative ways to show Jesus’ love to our families, our friends, our neighbors, our colleagues and our communities.
A PRAYER FOR EASTER MORNING (adapted from Celtic Daily Prayer: from the Northumbria Community)
The earth glories in her Maker.
Now the mountain and valley glow in splendor;
the sea on the shore whispers the praises of Jesus.
Rivers stream through thirsty soil,
bringing news of gladness –
the Redeemer is risen. His glory fills the earth.
The trees thunder their praises,
and loudly slap their hands.
We praise the blood of the Lamb
that has bought our freedom
and reversed the curse of disobedience
Jesus is the true Lamb that was slain,
whose blood is on the door of our hearts,
whose blood is the protection of the homes
of all believers. Amen.