Easter sunrise -- for the past seven years or so, Open Table Mennonite has celebrated an Easter sunrise service at Rieth Interpretive Center, gathering in silence before dawn, watching the sun rise, hearing John 21:4 -14, singing a song or two, and then enjoying a feast of smelt cooked over a charcoal fire, with bread, and hot drinks.
Because of the "shelter-at-home" orders in response to covid-19, this year we were invited to do our sunrise service individually, take photos, and share them online in a Zoom gathering later that morning. So John and I went out to our son's property in the morning twilight, and the four of us, appropriately six feet apart, listened silently to the morning bird chorus and waited for sunrise.
Hidden by clouds at dawn, the sun itself wasn't visible till an hour or so later. We read the ending of Mark's gospel, and the John story, and watched the light increasing imperceptibly, and listened to sandhill cranes calling in the distance. Later we drove around, leaving jam jars of daffodils on the doorsteps of Open Table participants, before joining them for our online fellowship time and exchange of photos.
For all the Easter hymns and festive celebrations we usually have, this Easter may have been more like that first Easter. Disciples locking themselves in an upper room, in fear and uncertainty, women going out to mourn the dead. Rumors of unexpected new life, of Jesus raised from the dead, going ahead into Galilee, coming to them as they sat at the table or walked down the road or fished off the shore. He was raised, but not with loud trumpet blasts and hosts of angels. In resurrection, he is still coming in unexpected ways. And we are reminded "The kingdom of heaven is in your midst. Stay awake. Watch for it."
My approach to contemplative photography --
Tell about it."
Mary Oliver in "Sometimes"