I grew up in Kansas City, and our family had an interesting Easter tradition: we would wake up really early – like 5 am. I still remember my parents scooping us out of bed in our PJs, packing us into the car and driving to a cemetery somewhere in KC. A church there – not ours, but some other church – held a sunrise reenactment of the resurrection, complete with costumes and everything.
I always remember it being packed, and us not really being able to see anything and it was all happening in a cemetery, and we drove at least 30 minutes each way to get there, plus parking and walking forever to get to the spot, and all for maybe a 10 minute service.
Then the long walk back, navigating the traffic, the long drive home, only to be rushed into baths and exchange our pjs for our brand new Easter clothes and off to our church for the Easter worship.
Strange, I know, but there’s something about Easter that compels us outside.
It’s a day that, yes, invites us to dress up, but it’s also one that calls us from our beds in the predawn light, insisting we come out, come out to witness something new, something impossible. Something beautiful and somehow more true than we could have imagined.
Let’s talk about the geography of the resurrection. Because it matters that Jesus wasn’t raised to life in the Temple or at a Palace. The where and the when and the who of Easter tells us a great deal about who we are as a people gathered to celebrate today.