It was dark outside as we woke up and began getting ready for church. It was exciting to get up on Easter because we were going to sunrise service.
After I was ready to go, I peeked into the kitchen and there were the four coffee cups on the kitchen table awaiting our return. Each cup had a different color of liquid in it. There was red, green, yellow and blue. In a pan next to the coffee cups were the eggs that Mama had boiled the night before. It was Easter morning and part of the fun for the day was to color eggs. Mama made up her own colors with water, vinegar, and food coloring. We used a waxy crayon to write names or designs on the eggs because the dye wouldn’t stick where the wax was marked on the eggs so there was no end to the creations we could make, but first, we would go to sunrise service.
We attended church regularly from the time that I could remember but Easter Sunday was different. There was something special about getting up before the sunrise. The air was crisp and as the sky slowly became a little lighter, the birds began to chirp as if to announce the forthcoming sunrise.
We made our way down the gravel road to the church that was only a block from our house. As we walked, I could hear the gravel crunching beneath my feet and I tried to walk ever so carefully so I wouldn’t get dust or marks on my new white shoes that I thought were almost too pretty to wear.
I was excited to get to church because my cousin, Suzanne, and I had a part in the Easter program. We had a duet to sing together. We had rehearsed the program many times and we wanted to do our best.
There were more people than usual on Easter Sunday. There was an atmosphere of expectancy as people were seated and the music began to play. Suzanne and I took our places on the piano side of the church on the front pew. The pastor spoke a few words of welcome and then the program began.
The choir sang “In the Garden”, “The Old Rugged Cross” and “There Is a Fountain” as narration was interspersed between songs. Everything was going just as we had practiced and then the moment came, it was the scripture that was our cue: “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.” As soon as the scripture was finished Suzanne and I began to sing the old spiritual, “Were you there when they crucified my Lord?” and I knew in my heart even as a child that in some mysterious way, I was there and that the Lord paid a debt He did not owe because I owed a debt I couldn’t pay.
When our duet ended, the narrator began reading the words: “Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women came unto the sepulcher, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said.”
At the very moment that the narration ended, the choir broke into the joyful song “Christ the Lord is Risen today, Al – le – lu – ia!”
Afterward, everyone began filing out of the church to leave and as I looked up I saw that the sun had risen as it streamed through the front door.
I remember running down the gravel road toward home after that sunrise service. In my excitement, I had forgotten all about being careful not to mess up my new white shoes. I wondered if the women that found the empty tomb thought about their shoes. Then I wondered what became of the no longer needed spices that they had carried to the tomb. I guessed the women probably forgot all about them because how can you think about your shoes or spices when you have just seen an earthquake, an empty tomb, and a powerful angel saying, “He is risen!”
The program was over but Easter continued on that day. I went home to color Easter eggs with my brother and take turns hiding them and finding them. That was the year that Mama drew a picture of the cross and the empty tomb in the icing on a cake. She rarely had time for things like that but it was a special day, it was Easter and the message that filled our thoughts was, “He is risen!”
This Easter I will again attend sunrise service. As the sun rises in the sky, I will once more be reminded, “He is risen!”
It is an awesome thought to know that the same God who created the sunrise loves us and wants to live in our hearts.
May the SON rise in your heart this Easter.
~ Pamela Perry Blaine ~
© March 12, 2008
About Pamela: She enjoys writing, music, and country living. She writes"Pam's Corner" for the local newspaper and many of her writings have been published on the internet as well as in several books.
Pam says, "I have loved music and writing ever since I can remember. I play piano at church and I'm an avid reader. One of my goals is to be able to write for my children and grandchildren so special memories will not be forgotten." She has a CD entitled "I'll Walk You Home". If you would like one, they are available by freewill donation. More information as well as a clip from the CD is on her website at
[ By: Pamela Perry Blaine, Copyright © 2008 (email@example.com) -- submitted by: Pamela Blaine ]
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