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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Worship (corporate) (10/04/07)

TITLE: The Sunrise Service
By April Bailey
10/10/07


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At five in morning, night still shrouds sky, ocean and earth in its black cloak. While clouds and waves find similar cover behind the velvet canvas, a stirring begins on land. Flickering lights and random sounds, the day’s first vestiges of life, scatter across the sand from willing multitudes drawn there by something within. Something quiet, peaceful, pure and powerful.

While some respond instinctively, others know it is a call. A call from creation itself saying, Come and see what the Lord has made. It is primal, reaching into our very cells, compelling our bodies to rise and appreciate heaven’s splendor, gifted daily to earth.


* * * * *
Tears stain the cheeks of Janice, who grips the bottle of pills in her pocket, certain they will end her torment, uncertain of what torment awaits beyond life. She joins others at the beach … waiting … hoping for answers in magnificence. There must be something more. Help me.
* * * * *


The dark begins to soften with subtle splashes of brown and gold. Across the beach, those who gather watch the colors build, breaking through to set the horizon on fire with streaks of orange, yellow and pink.

The waves roll in from an inky ocean, racing to embrace land. At any moment, a woman, man or child holds their breath at the presentation overhead. For some, it is their first viewing, for others it simply feels that way.


* * * * *
Henry hasn’t been to church in months, not since the death of his son, yet he rarely misses a sunrise service. Pity from well-wishers is plentiful, diminishing none of his grief, but witnessing the birth of another day reminds him of his heavenly Father who, in love, lost His Son.
* * * * *


The sky erupts in full color, a blue symphony through clouds, now visible with the light. In greater numbers now, the gatherers revel in heat as rays lavish their flesh. They stand together—created beings, believers and unbelievers, wounded hearts and healing hearts—in silent adoration.

They stand together—strangers connected by souls created for worship—awed by beauty and majesty, basking in the warmth of a new day. Praise rises from the sand in song, silently or through tears, honoring the Worthy One.


* * * * *
Holding hands with Anna, his wife of fifty-six years, Marv tickles the water with bare feet. Anna joins him in the surf, coughing the cough of cancer. She doesn’t say much these days, but words are not necessary. They see God in the rising sun.
* * * * *


It appears finally, the blinding light from which the gatherers shield their eyes while lifting their faces, allowing it to reach inside of them. Some of them knowing, some of them yet to know, some of them lost to Him who will repeat such glory tomorrow.

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.>/i> [Psalm 19:1 NIV]


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Member Comments
Member Date
Dee Yoder 10/11/07
Wow, very beautiful image of corporate worship. The individual little portraits of each worshipper created in your entry are very well described.
Joanne Sher 10/12/07
I love these little snapshots - each beautiful in and of itself, but together, what a picture of worship! Wonderful.
william price10/14/07
Creative concept expertly executed. Painted a blessed picture. God bless. oh yes, uplifting as well.
Therese Witkus10/15/07
The sunrise proclaims God's glory and a sunrise service honors that glory, you brought it to my mind's eye.
Your phrase, "They stand together-strangers connected by souls created for worship..." truly defines the essence of corporate worship.