7:45 a.m. Holy Eucharist (Traditional)
10 a.m. Holy Eucharist
5 p.m. Holy Eucharist (in Creole) Information in Creole
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He is not here, He is risen. Matthew 28:5
It was an Ecumenical Easter Sunrise Service in Eastern Kentucky. I was the interim rector at St. David’s in Pikeville. All the churches from that community and the neighboring town of Prestonsburg would gather at daybreak at Jenny Wiley State Park. As dawn began to lift the darkness that morning, a faint fog was in the air. Yet one could see the trees just coming into full leaf and the wildflowers were everywhere. We were in a valley surrounded by mountains on all sides. The whole effect was to produce a mystical sense of God’s presence.
Together we sang familiar Easter hymns. Then my colleague, Chris Platt, rector of St. James in Prestonsburg, began his sermon. It was a simple but powerful Easter message as his voice rang through the valley unaided by a microphone. He concluded his message with the angel’s word to Peter and John at the tomb: “He is not here, He is risen.” As these words of triumph were echoing across the valley two things happened simultaneously. The sun burst forth from behind the mountaintop the gathered congregation was facing, lighting the still foggy valley in sparkling splendor. At the same time a nearby coal mine set off a thunderous dynamite explosion that echoed across the valley like a jet breaking the sound barrier. Standing in the midst of this unplanned dramatic production, my heart sang out, echoing Chris’s final words: “Christ is risen indeed!”
Heavenly Father, as we look upon the breathtaking splendor of your Creation it is easy to see your hand at work. But regardless of our personal outward circumstances, as we celebrate this day, may the Risen Lord ever be a fresh reality in our lives. Amen
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