Maybe I’m a bad Christian, but I’ve never really gone for the whole Easter Sunday sunrise service deal. I mean, I guess if you live somewhere with dramatic sunrises, then it could be cool and symbolic, but when you live in a mega-city that’s covered by smog and rain clouds, something’s lost in translation. Today we went to one anyways. Our curiosity pulled us out of bed at 5:30 this morning to go see what the Paris Sunrise Service was all about.
We’d heard that there would be an interdenominational Easter Service at 7:30 for all Christians in the Paris area. In my own typical fashion, I didn’t really listen to the rest of the information or take the time to read the posters. So when we left our apartment at 6:00 we went to the train station and hopped on the train to Paris. My big plan was to hope that there’d be a mass of people on the train all headed in the same direction and that we could simply fall in line with the crowd. But there was nobody on the train. A handful here or there would get on and then off again, and as we neared Paris we knew we had absolutely no plan where to go. I scanned the seven people on our train and picked out the one I thought most likely to be going to the Easter Service. I talked to her and nailed my prediction. She indeed was the only other person on our train going, and she graciously agreed to show us the way.
When we arrived, I was quite surprised. Knowing that this was a service for all Christians in a traditionally Catholic city, I expected a huge old church or square and a reverent service. Instead we walked out of the metro to the ultra-modern Place de la Defense, and hopped into the middle of a concrete open space surrounded by high-rises. A choir with a keyboard and guitar led some choruses while the line-up of priests and pastors and other decorated figures came onto stage. They had one of the biggest Bibles I’d ever seen with them!
Here’s some pictures of the event:
It was cold and rainy, so not a lot of fun. I did however enjoy watching the guys in white robes with pink hats on grab their hats every time the wind whipped up. It reminded me of a time back in the states when I was taking a night seminary class. The seminary had organized a movie on the lawn for all students to attend. During a break in class I went outside and sat at a distance to watch the group getting the movie set up. When all was ready, one of the organizing students stepped up to a microphone in front of the large canvas screen propped up in the courtyard to pray. “Thank you God for giving us such wonderful weather to be outside and watch this movie.” Right at that moment, a huge gust of wind came and literally blew the movie screen down, which proceeded to tear in about 4 places. His prayer stopped short and moments later he returned to the microphone with this announcement, “uh... we’ll be watching the movie in the auditorium inside the student center.” As I said earlier, maybe I’m a bad Christian, but I sat on my little hillside and couldn’t help but laugh that night. I though the whole thing was hilarious.
God has his ways. We have ours. His ways are higher. We would never have suggested God take on the form of a man, live among us and be rejected by us, heal, forgive, feed, and teach, and then die a miserably painful death.
And if you know the whole story, you can’t help but be awe-struck by it all. He rose on the third day, and then like a television season finale, He ascended to heaven with a “to be continued...” in his wake. When the next season premier starts, you won’t want to miss it! In the meantime, I’m going to keep hanging out by the water cooler and talking about how amazing the first season was while speculating on just how dramatic the next and final season will be.