Welcome to my yearly rooftop rant about how the Sunrise service saved Easter.
Disclaimer: yes, I love Jesus and yes, I know that Easter Sunday is about the Resurrection and not about my distaste for girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes.
4 years ago, after having begrudgingly attending Easter Sunday 3 score or more, I decided to look into which churches offered a Sunrise service. I found several, and two United Methodist services in particular. A sudden wave of relief washed over my soul.
I did not buy an easter-dress-and-shoes-to-match for my daughter ($30+ purchase, for a single use). I did not buy two new button-down shirts, or clip-on ties for my boys ($30+ purchase for a single use). Forget about the money, 3 knock-down-drag-out-kicking-screaming-tantrums successfully averted.
And a new tradition was born. And I love it. And my family loves it. And the dog loves it.
Our leisurely schedule for Easter Morn.
5:00am Wake up. Don’t shower or comb your hair. Just get dressed. Oh, and it is still cold so bring your fleece. And a blanket.
5:30am Grab the fold-out chairs. Load up. Don’t forget the dog (Apollo loves Jesus too, and this is the one time a year he is invited to attend worship).
5:55am jovially park the car in the uncrowded lot. Join 20-30 other brilliant, non-frantic, happy humans.
6:00am Worship the Risen Savior and watch in awe at God’s creation – the risen sun.
Hey, I hope this doesn’t sound judgy. You may enjoy the pomp. And that’s ok. I share your high regard for pipe organ and a 150 person choir – I really do. But I chose to leave it on Easter Sunday to free myself of all the other trappings that accompany it, things I allowed to trip me for many years. Now, I look forward to Easter. And I model to my children a good attitude on Easter Sunday! We attend the service. We shake hands and take pics against the backdrop of the morning sun. At 7, we head to Cracker Barrel for breakfast. We chat and feast, then sit on the porch in their rocking chairs and play checkers. By 9am we are back home, purposefully planning our day together.
Sometimes we go hiking. Sometimes we see a movie in the afternoon. Sometimes we simply stay home and play games do crafts. But EVERY TIME, we experience a low-stress, high-touch intentional family Sunday.