Easter Sunrise message

Rev. Jeffrey Long-Middleton
Bradford Congregational Church-UCC
April 21, 2019

 Let us place this day in the context of scripture. From Luke 24:1-11

But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in, they did not find the body.While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them. The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.” Then they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb, they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 Now it was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told this to the apostles. 11 But these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them.


We stand on a racing piece of earth. At the equator our rate of spin is about 1,000 miles per hour. Another rotation. Another day. And when enough days are done, we will have circled the Sun. Racing through space at 167,000 miles an hour.

These are the facts of science yet all feels still. Careening through space, we are unaware of the clip of time. We have come to label the mystery of our own existence as normal and think that the mystery is solved in the facts of science.

But do you feel it? Does the wind rush across your face? Do your feet stumble? Spinning and twirling, we race across the heavens unaware.

So it was long ago on a Judean hillside. Dead, buried and silenced. The failure of His vision had been put to rest. Evil had triumphed over the good and life would go on. The world would spin and careen through space and just as it was before, no one would know that though the dust does not swirl we travel 167,000 miles an hour, spinning at 1,000 miles an hour as we go.

They did not know that a stone had been rolled away. They did not know the facts of our velocity. The world went on. But just as we do not sense the earth moving, so, too, we may miss the stone rolled away from before a tomb.

If we call it “normal” to whirl and to spin at such dizzying speeds and be left unaffected, know, too, that in Christ’s rising the world may not take note. It is to us to make the story known, to live in unfettered hope and proclaim that goodness prevails over evil forevermore.

The earth spins. The stone is rolled away. At the rising of the sun comes the rising of the son of God. Amen.