The alarm rang at 4:45am.
No one else in the house moved... only I was up. I dressed with scattered intent, and sleepily drove my way through the silent city streets. The mist-darkened sky reflected the glow of the street lamps back at my passing vehicle. Finding a parking place I joined other huddled figures as we made our way to the edge of the playing field of a local school where we set up deck chairs, or perched on the school’s wooden benches.
The clergy people gathered around a small wooden table as they arranged the sacramental offering for the morning, while the technician fussed over his portable sound system, ensuring that the microphones and speakers were correctly placed. And then we cracked into life as Rev Diane welcomed us all to a sunrise service on Easter Sunday.
I had joined a motley collection of people who gathered to watch the sun rise. We were united by our faith’s conviction that just as the light will conquer the darkness, so Jesus will conquer fear and death. Along with many, many other Christ-followers around the world, we sang Easter hymns, read from our sacred scriptures and prayed together. This was not the glamour and glitz of a well-organised “special event”. It was just a few people singing off-key, praying from the heart, and sharing hot-cross buns and instant coffee
In many ways this is the stuff of my faith. While I do not deny my satisfaction at the conclusion of an efficient, well strategized and technically excellent service of worship, this morning takes me back to the essence of my faith: the reminder of Jesus that “where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them” (Matthew 18:20). I found my faith revived through fellowship with other Jesus-followers.
And I am grateful.