The last time I got up at 5 AM was… well, it was… I think it was… a Thanksgiving a long time ago when we got up and drove with droopy eyes in hopes of arriving in San Angelo in time for the Thanksgiving feast. We drove in darkness for quite some time and then the sun rose, I’m almost certain of it… but the rest of the trip was shrouded in a dense fog, so I could barely tell the sun had made an appearance.
This morning, I got up at 5 AM to go to a sunrise service at my church. The service was not a big production – in fact, it was what one might call Ecclesia Unplugged. Robbie played an acoustic guitar and led worship and all voices that were heard were lifted up sans microphone. There was an absence of Power Point and the pomp and circumstance that an Easter service might have elsewhere (and not that there’s anything wrong with that). The service was simple and beautiful, and is one of the many reasons I have gone home to Ecclesia.
The service began in the darkness at 6:30 AM in the courtyard (last year it began at 5:30 AM and when they emerged an hour later, it was still dark). We lit candles and sang a song, then processed inside where selections from the word of God were read aloud, telling the story of the risen Saviour from the creation of the world to his ressurrection. After more singing and communion, we processed back to the courtyard, where the sun had broken the horizon and disappeared behind the clouds. We sang again and were dismissed into the dim light of the day.
Those that know me, know I’m not lucid most days before 9 AM. I was back home with a cup of Starbuck’s in my hand and partaking of some oatmeal by 8:15. I fully remember and enjoyed this morning’s service and am thankful I made it to experience sunrise with the community I’m making my journey with.
As Lent closes, I’m reminded that if it takes 21 days to create a habit, then in 40 days, I’d like to think I’ve created a new attitude for myself, one of hope and not fear, and now I look forward and pray I can keep feeding that new attitude and face my next leap of faith at a dead run.