“And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulcher at the rising of the sun.” Luke 16:2
Our small congregation gathered on a hillside before dawn on Easter morning. Cloud cover hung low in the east. We hadn’t seen much of the sun in days, weeks really. Would we see it rise on this, our first Easter sunrise service? We sang a few songs and then a holy hush stopped us before the final verse of “He Lives Within My Heart.” A thin band on brilliant tangerine broke over the horizon. The song leader sat down. In silent awe we watched with wonder as the band grew into a mound, and finally into a full, blazing circle before it quietly tinted the clouds pink, and then slipped behind them.
It took a while for us to recover from our gorgeous sunrise surprise and I thought again of the women and the surprising light of that first Easter dawn.
But from the tomb,
Well-sealed for doom,
Tear-drenched in gloom,
Burst forth the slain One!
Grave clothes on stone bed,
Napkin folded from His head,
Keepers, cold, appeared as dead.
Jesus claimed death done!
Women’s sandled feet
Padded softly in the street.
“Who will roll away the stone?”
Dawn’s rays pierced the place of dread.
“He is not here; where is the Dead?”
Still, on ones who seek.
Begs us stoop and peek,
Whenever life is bleak.
“Where is my Lord?” we ask.
Behold the empty tomb!
Beyond the shadowed gloom,
There lies a light-filled room!
“He lives within my heart!” We bask.