Sunrise services offer more than memories

Published 6:48 am Saturday, March 31, 2018

By John Warren


I must have been only three or four years old, what I remember was the family dressed up really early like we were going to church but instead we went to the woods and walked down a dirt road the air heavy with the morning, the grass still wet with the dew.

We went to a cemetery.

I didn’t realize it then but my life would be marked with many more early morning outings.

Years later, I recalled the event with my sister, eleven years older, and she remembered it too, we lived in Lufkin, Texas and we went to the cemetery for a Sunrise Service on Easter morning.

During my high school years, Holy Week became my favorite week of the year.

The tradition of the church was that the senior high youth group along with counselors would camp out at the city park near the San Jacinto River. We would stay up all night singing songs, telling stories, throwing rocks and when morning neared we would set up chairs and the men of the church would arrive to cook breakfast.

Soon cars full of families would join us for a sunrise service followed by a breakfast.

I don’t know how our counselors did it, because by the end after taking everything down it was time to get ready for church.

I can remember being so excited about Easter. We would crowd on the same pews together packed in like sardines. Which was good because if we fell asleep during the service we would not fall over.

It was a sunrise service that saved me from leaving the church. I had moved to a new neighborhood and had attended a church for some time but I just didn’t seem to find a place to fit in. When someone asked me if I would lead the singing for the sunrise service with the church youth group. I had decided to look for another church where I could find a place to serve but that door opened the way for me to be a contributing part. Who knew that it would open the door for me to find my life’s calling.

So find a church and hear the story, it is the one story that has changed history, it has changed hearts and it still has to power to change lives today. Nothing has given my life more depth than a relationship with Jesus Christ.

The real Easter has nothing to do with bunnies and eggs and everything to do with you having a fulfilled life that can begin now and last for eternity.   Happy Easter!