The Easter Sunrise Service took place at Confluence, the former retreat center, on the top of Gove Hill. It was blustery, cloudy and bitterly cold, but nature in all its forms was awe-inspiring, and Damaris Tyler, Peggy Burden, Cat Spalding and Judy Dixon provided beautiful music. Mel Goertz contributed her simple and profound poetry, which you can read here. Below are the wise and moving words of the Rev. Telos Whitfield.
Call to Worship
We are here together in these sacred moments to remember Jesus’ life and calling to us, here today, to believe in the power of this circle of light, and to witness the rising sun. Friends and followers of Jesus mourned his death, grief stricken, searching around in the darkness and found each other. They found their circle for comfort, to heal their hearts, and for strength to continue his revolutionary work of healing and welcome. This is our work too. May we honor the light he brought into the world and his legacy of caring and compassion. Let us worship together. And let us sing!
Reflection: A Circle of Light
We are a circle of light. Fragile human beings with fears and struggles, fatigue and secrets. Fragile beings with longings and a need to find our way, to serve, to wake up to our own hearts.
This is a complicated time, filled with a thousand ideas and stories of violence and unease, illness and struggle. It can feel completely overwhelming and so much easier to hide out, to run away from the suffering, to find solace in our daily needs and routines.
But what this time of Easter offers is a dramatic reminder of what how vital it is to be woken up. To be able to see and know what is truly important.
We know what matters to us. We know that love can heal, that having dear ones around us can be life-saving. And we know that being kind to those we are meeting for the first time, to suspend our judgement to strive to be our best selves, might just be the purpose of living.
But it is so easy to get lost or sidetracked. Even to believe we’re on the right path, this is a world of modern struggles made complicated by technology and separation from our own essential selves.
So we look back to ancient stories and practices and find that being together with our companions, we realize that it is our circle of friends that can call us back. It is our belief in the power of the work that Jesus demonstrated, his deep commitment to the reality that all are welcome and deserving of love.
This is still radical and revolutionary. This might still get us in trouble. This way of living is still the best remedy for fear of difference.
We are a circle of light and we are connected to millions of others in this belief, in this work to re-awaken and heal the world.
And so it begins again. Easter morning offers us this time to begin again. To re-commit to being our best selves, to find the courage to stand up to bigotry, fear and hatred. We have the power to help in healing the world.
May it be ever so. Blessings on this circle. Amen.