I have a friend who was the pastor of a Disciple’s church in a small town here in Iowa that had a unique community Easter sunrise tradition. Of course, lots of communities hold ecumenical Easter sunrise services. What made this one unusual was where it was held: the town cemetery – the very place where many of them had gone before to grieve and lay to rest their friends and loved ones.
The first time I heard about that Easter sunrise tradition, I was struck by the power of it. What better place to declare Christ’s victory over death than a cemetery! Even though I have never been to a service like that, I can picture it… Believers gather in the darkness among the graves of the saints. The story about the women gathering at Jesus’ tomb early on Sunday morning is read. And then, just as the sun arises, the shout goes up, “Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed! And because he lives, so do we – both now and forever!”
As we also gather in celebration this Easter weekend, may we join those in heaven, and on earth, in proclaiming the Good News: “Christ is Lord is Risen Today!”