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: One Sunrise Service...  ( 4422 )
Rev. Elizabeth
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« : April 14, 2017, 11:47:49 AM »

It happens.  Memories get conflated. One event merges with others  Perhaps all the details I remember, the images I see in my mind's eye, are the coalescing of many sunrise services. Perhaps not.
I remember seeing his small figure walk across the meadow. I remember the faith of a man who had seen the worst of human behavior and still believed with deep, unabashed faith. That, at least,  is a  true and right and good memory, unclouded and unaltered by the passage of time.

I don’t remember the date of Easter Sunday that year. But I do know that the air was still and clear; sunlight  streamed up  over the hill, and the only sounds were  the occasional hum of traffic and the twittering of birds in the distant woods.

Clustering together we sang, we prayed.
 “Tell me,” I asked the group, “what do you remember about Easter Sunday? Are there memories, stories you might want to share?.” 
There was silence.  A young boy remembered chocolate Easter bunnies and finding eggs.  Silence again.  Then Marvin spoke. 
“The Japanese didn’t expect us to invade on a holiday, so we did.  We invaded Okinawa on Easter Sunday.“
The silence was deep and painful. We waited in that silence, but he said no more.
We stood together, waiting for what this little old man who everyone loved but no one really knew might, if anything, say next. 
“I thought this ” he  finally said, meaning crucifixion,and finally,  resurrection, the essence of the holiday, “was to end all that.”
 The chocolate bunnies disappeared from our minds. Suddenly Easter was not a celebration, but a deep remembering of the horrors humans can and do wreak on one another.
He could speak of memories  because he  had survived.  We knew he lost ‘buddies,’  there, as he would call them on Memorial Day, when he  remembered again.  We knew that the hope that faith provides is a fragile thing; a treasure to be held and cherished.
And then, at last,  I read a Gospel passage, of a woman running from an empty tomb; we sang again, of the green blade rising from the buried grain; “Christ is risen” we greeted each other.
And the sun rose over the hill, as it will; and the robin sang with cheer from the top of the budding maple; and each of us, with our memories,  drifted back to our cars, and on with the day.
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« #1 : April 14, 2017, 08:40:59 PM »

Thank you for sharing.
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