Sunrise service speaks to the city and world: Jesus is on the Emmaus road with you
As the sun broke across an azure and picturesque Sydney Harbour on Easter Sunday, a chorus of voices proclaimed Christ The Lord is Risen Today to a city and the world.
Wesley Mission’s annual Sunrise Service at the Sydney Opera House drew together hundreds from all walks of life in praise and worship while tens of thousands more watched the event live on Channel 9 or listened on radio or the internet.
“Our celebrations give us opportunity to pause and reflect upon all that is important in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ,” said Wesley Mission Superintendent Rev Keith Garner.
“The cross stands at the centre of time, and the resurrection tells of eternal love. The resurrection of Jesus Christ confirms the uniqueness of our Christian faith, and God’s love for all.
“Jesus’ body hung, broken and lifeless. On Easter morning, it was raised to life. This message of newness is available to us all today. Through the love that Jesus Christ revealed on the cross, and in his Risen power, all that is broken, beaten, worn out and perhaps ready to be discarded, can be restored and made new.”
“The first disciples were confused, anxious and fearful. Their encounter with Jesus changed that forever. From their brokenness they were made new.
“The opening mood of Easter morning is not only wonder or astonishment; there is also confusion and fear.
“If we have heard the Easter account many times, it is difficult for us to capture the uncertainty that must have existed for the first disciples. We are all too aware of the beginning, middle and end of the Easter account. The disciples’ experience fluctuated greatly on that first Easter Day.
“There is a remarkable sense of authenticity in the road to Emmaus account and we are invited to reach out and know that the stranger on our road of life is Jesus Christ.
“We may choose not to acknowledge him or to be so distracted by life that we cannot recognise him. But, once you do, he will change your life forever!
“Easter stands forever at the centre of our Christian faith and reminds us that we do not have to remain in despair and emptiness, but we can find meaningful hope because of what Jesus Christ has done for us.
“Are you able to relate to those early followers who were trying to put some distance between themselves and their frustration and grief? Perhaps they even want to start all over again. Jesus is on such a road with you!”
The Sunrise Service was an inspiring service aided by the dynamic contribution of multi-award winning Australian country music duo, David and Merelyn Carter, and Craig Gower and the Wesley Impact! band.
A prayer by the Rev Jenny Ducker spoke into the hearts of individuals, the community and a suffering world.
“There are many broken places in the world around us: it’s all too much for us,” she said. “Thank you Lord that it is not too much for you. God of resurrection in love you have taken it all on yourself. Reach into the depths of our brokenness risen Lord bring life.”