Last Sunday morning, forty of our youth met at 5:30 in the morning to participate in an Easter sunrise service. We traveled to a local state park where we took a short hike to a bluff that overlooked a creek and thousands of trees. As we watched the sunrise, and listened to the birds and water, we reflected on the resurrection of Christ and what the Easter message means to us today.
I briefly shared with the youth my understanding of Christ’s resurrection. I have found that it is almost impossible to prove the resurrection. For every argument in support of the resurrection, there is an equally compelling counter-argument. But, I believe that the message of the resurrection, even to the point of death, is that Christ is not separated from us. When Christ calls Mary by name, Mary encounters Christ. And just as Mary encountered Christ that day outside the tomb, we too encounter Christ daily—new life begins with us.
I asked the youth to share, if they were comfortable, some of the experiences they have had in encounters with Christ. Answers included: mission trips, church camps, random acts of kindness by complete strangers, retreats, worship, and even silence. As we shared our stories, and listened to one another, I truly believe that I saw the presence of Christ in each individual present that morning.
After the service, we returned to church for a great breakfast of cinnamon rolls, bacon, and eggs. As we sat down to eat, I was reminded once again that a defining act of Jesus’ ministry was table fellowship.