Easter Sunrise Service
Sunday 1 April 2004
7:30 AM

Presented by the Senior High UMYF

Prelude “Smelling Coffee”                          Chris Rice
Call to Worship
Emily Stowell
Leader: As we do each week, we've gathered here as friends.
People: We're here to worship God, 
Leader: To praise Him and to thank Him,
People: To love Him, to serve Him, and to share Him.
Leader: We're here to share His Story with our Friends,
People: To make the Story of Jesus the topic of our conversations.
Leader: To talk about Him, to talk about His Story,
People: To tell His Story until we know it so well, that we know Him.
Leader: On this Easter Sunday especially, remember this part of the Story:
People: The Lord is Risen!
                      The Lord is Risen Indeed! Amen.
Ben Gardner - piano
# 307  Christ Is Risen

Table Talk
The Scene is the Jerusalem Java Hut coffee shop hang-out for the local youth.  Ross and Chris have their coffee and are sitting on the couch talking, while others come in from time to time to join the conversation.
Ross I have to write a paper for English class on my favorite stories. 
Chris That should be easy. (pause) What are your favorite stories? 
Ross That's just it: how do I pick?  There are so many. 
And I'm supposed to explain why they're my favorites. 
This is harder than it sounded at first. 
Chris I guess you're right.  It is harder than it sounded. 
(other kids show up and sit down with their drinks and books and such)
Why don't you just pick a couple stories to get started, then you can sort of make up why they're your favorite. 
Leah Oh, you have to do that too?  I thought it was just our class. 
Kendra Yeah - what are you going to pick? 
Ross I don't know - I'm stuck at the very beginning.  There are just too many stories that I like; how can I choose my favorites?
Leah That's where I am too.  I mean, think of all the stories you've ever read, or heard, or seen on TV or movies, or whatever – this is just about impossible.
Kendra I think Chris was right, though, just pick a couple and see if they help.
Ross OK.  I always liked that book, Harold and the Purple Crayon.  That was a cool story.
Kendra Right, that was a good one.  And Goodnight, Moon - that was one of my favorites when my Mom used to read it to me.
Leah Not much of a story to either one of those, really.  I mean in a plot kind of sense.  Make Way for Ducklings, now there's a plot.
Chris Yeah – but still, those are probably your favorites just because of who told them to you, or when they were read to you.
Ross Sure, but that's a reason, isn't it?  I mean, it's not exactly literary or anything, but it's still a reason why they're my favorites.
Leah True.  But does it count?
Ross I don't know, but it's the best I have so far.
EERR We were just talking about stories in youth group a few weeks ago, remember?
Emily I don't think I was there that night.  What did you talk about?
EERR Well, it started out with how much better all the TV shows used to be.  We were talking about how sad it is that kids today don't get all those great shows we used to see on Nick and Nick Jr.
Emily How does that relate to trying to find our favorite stories?
Kendra Well, the shows now don't have as much of a story to them as they used to.  When we were kids, they had great stuff like Pete and Pete, and all that stuff.
Ross I don't know if kids' stories and TV shows are going to cut it for my paper, you guys.
Leah You mean all our papers.
All Right, yeah, et cetera
Ben Hey, remember those magazines they have at the doctor's office?  You know, the ones with jokes and stories and everything?
Chris You mean Highlights?  Those were always fun while you were waiting to go in to see the doctor.
Emily And they always had that Children's Bible Stories book there too.
EERR Oh, right.  That one with all the pictures in it, so you didn't mind looking at it when you were a kid.
Ross That's right.  I always kind of liked that book.  That's probably the first place I ever heard any of the Bible stories.
Kendra Me too.  I always liked the Noah's ark story in that one.
Ben I liked the hidden pictures.  You know, where you had to find a baseball bat hidden in the lines of a tree trunk, or a duck hidden in the clouds, or something.
Ross That was in Highlights, Ben, not the Bible!
Ben I thought we were still talking about Highlights - I know that wasn't in the Bible.
Kendra But those hidden picture things were pretty cool, I have to agree.
Leah But what about stories?  We have to figure out what our favorite stories are, and why.
Chris Well, since you mentioned the Bible, what about some of the Bible stories?  Kendra already said Noah's ark was one of her favorites
Ben David and Goliath is a good one.  It gets mentioned all the time on sports on TV.  Either that or Cinderella.
Matt I like the story of Esther.  It's got everything: beauty pageants, bad guys, drama, danger, lynch mobs, and a happy ending.
Ross There's one, anyway.  That's not a bad start.
Paul Yeah, and Matt even got us started on some reasons for liking stories.
Katy What? Beauty pageants?
Paul No, but most of the rest of what he said.  You know, stories have to have drama, conflict, ....
Katy Right! protagonists and antagonists!
Ross Now we're getting somewhere.  I'm going to start a list of what the stories have to have.  Protagonist and antagonist; conflict; resolution; what else?
Katy Don't forget about the denouement!
Paul What?  Nobody cares about that.
Katy I know, I just like the word, that's all.
Ross Whatever.  OK, we would probably like some plot twists, or false leads too
Katy Red herrings!
All <sigh>
Chris Let's get back to listing stories.  That might make finding out what makes us like them easier.
Katy OK, I like the story of Saul on the road to Damascus.  You know, where he sees the blinding light and hears Jesus talking to him.
Paul That's when he becomes Paul instead of Saul, right?  I like that part.
Emily Why am I not surprised?  Oh, and don't forget we already had Noah's Ark in there.  That's got danger and a happy ending.
Matt Not for Noah's neighbors.
Paul Moving right along.  I like the book of Joshua.
Chris That's pretty long.  Why do you like that?
Paul Well, it's got a lot of history, a lot of action, a lot of people doing stuff – it's not just long descriptions or speeches: something actually happens.
Katy True – they knock down the walls of Jericho in there, don't they?
Paul Yep, and lots of other stuff, too.
Ross OK, I've got those down too.  What else?
EERR How about Joseph?  You know, like the Technicolor Dreamcoat?  It's got  bad guys: his brothers, Potiphar's wife.  It's got danger – sold into slavery, famine in the land, prison, finding his family, his mother is dead,
Katy Sounds like a country song to me. 
EERR But in the end, they all get back together and everything works out.
Katy Never mind, it's definitely not a country song.  But David and Goliath could probably be one.
Ben Hey, how about Peter walking on water?  That's so cool until he panics and starts to sink.  It's kind of like the cartoons where they run past the end of the cliff, but they don't fall until they realize where they are.
Ross I don't see the protagonist and antagonist in that one, but I guess there’s conflict – at least something happens.
Leah Another one in a boat is when Jesus calms the storm.  You know, He's sleeping in the boat, and the disciples are afraid, so they wake Him up and basically He just tells the storm to cut it out, and it does.  Pretty amazing.
Katy And the Red Sea – it's kind of like they walked on water.  That's got a chase, and an army, and danger, and everything
EERR Good one.  I've always liked the one with the kids in the furnace – Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego.  Hey, most of the stories we're picking are Veggie Tales.  We must be on to something.
Leah And how about when Jesus fed all the people with hardly any food?  Just some  loaves of bread and a couple fish.
Matt Not a low carb meal, I guess.
Leah <glares and sighs>
Matt What?
Paul Jesus ate a meal with Zacchaeus.  That's a cool story, where he has to climb a tree to see Jesus because he's too short to see over everyone else.
Katy And he's kind of the bad guy and the good guy at the same time in that one.
Ross OK, I've got a huge list of stories here.  We've got to figure out which ones to choose, and how to explain why they're favorites.
Chris It seems like the best stories are the ones where something happens.
EERR: Some of these stories don't have very good guys, though.  It seems like they're good mostly because they don't bother anyone else, or just because they're up against really bad guys, you know?
Katy Right, but when it's a story about God, it seems like He's good just on His own, not because someone else is the bad guy.
So God is good.
EERR All the time.
Katy All the time.
EERR God is good.
Ross OK.  So, stuff has to happen in the story, and there should be good guys and bad guys.  Yes, we definitely like the stories with good guys and bad guys up against each other.
Katy You mean protagonists and antagonists.
Kendra No, he means good guys and bad guys – the conflict is bigger that way.
EERR You know, someone mentioned the story of Naomi and Ruth the other night.  It's not real action-packed, but it's a story about courage, and it has a happy ending, after the beginning where almost everyone dies.
Katy What about denouements?
All <just look at her>
Ross Just when it looked like we were getting somewhere....
Kendra Speaking of a happy ending after someone dies, how could we miss this one?  What about the story of Easter?  That's full of action, conflict, bad guys, good guys, death and torture, but it still has a happy ending.
EERR You're not kidding, a happy ending.  What could be better than having Jesus come back after being killed?
Katy And on top of that, that He died for us, and His resurrection means we have eternal life too.
Matt Here's that story in the Bible, from Matthew's gospel. [read Matthew 27:57-61, 28:1-10, 16-20]
Emily Don't forget the part where Jesus walks with two of the disciples on the road to Emmaus.  That's even a story about stories – Jesus explains to them how He's in all the stories in the Old Testament.  Remember?  They were walking along with Jesus, but they didn't know who He was, and they told Him that the women had told them He was risen, but they didn't believe it. 
Listen: [reads Luke 24:25-36,44-48]
Both of those stories are telling us to tell them to other people.  These are stories that need to be shared.
Leah Yeah.  A story can't be your favorite if you don't like it enough to want to tell it to someone.
Chris Not just like it enough – Love it enough.
Leah So the best stories are the ones that climb inside you so deeply that they're a part of you.
Chris The Easter story is sure like that.  I mean, knowing that Jesus died for us and rose for us – believing that He did that for us, well it makes you a whole new person.
Ross OK, how about this?  Using the story of Easter, we've got this to say about a favorite story:
  • It's full of conflict, but with a good resolution
  • It has good guys against bad guys, or even better, it's a good versus evil kind of thing.
  • It's true – not only did it happen, it tells us what's really important; what's real.
  • It's so important to us that it becomes a part of our lives.  It's sort of like the story is about us ... and like we're about the story.
  • It's one that is so basic to who we've become, that we have to share it. When it's your favorite story, you want to tell it to everyone.  And you want to hear it again and again.
  Excellent!  I think I can write my paper now.  I just have to figure out how to work in something about the denouement.
Katy Hey!  That's my word!
Ross OK, then how about if you give us a denouement?
Katy Sure – how's this one?  [reads 1 Peter 1:3-4]
Morning Prayer
Silent Prayer
Lord's Prayer
Paul Thomas
Dear God,
 We thank You for this day, this Easter Sunday.
 This is the Sunday that makes all Sundays.
 This is the day that turned Death inside out with a surprise twist.
 This is the day that brought all the threads of all the stories together, and let them tell us about You.
 This is the day that Jesus took back His Live, and opened the gate to new life for us.
 We Praise You,
 We Love You,
 We Thank You.

[silent prayer]

Lord Jesus,
 Help us to get Your Story in us so deeply, so tightly wrapped in us, that we can never lose or forget it.
 Help us to hold Your Story so loosely, that everyone we meet can get it from us.
 Help us to Live in Your Story every day.
 Help us to Live out Your Story every day.
 Help us to Live Your Story every day.
We ask this in Your Name, as we pray the prayer You taught us to pray:
Our Father ....

Ben Gardner - piano
#310      He Lives
Summing Up
Leah Martin
As we found out in our skit, the best stories are the true stories - the ones that tell us what's really real, how we're supposed to live our lives, how we CAN live our lives.

The best stories are so good that you can't keep them to yourself – you have to share them with everyone you know – with everyone you meet.

We're here this morning to celebrate the best story of all, the story of Easter, the story of Jesus.

It's a true story – it's a story about the Truth: the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
If it weren't all that, it wouldn't be a story we could live by -  but it is.

In fact, it's not just a story we can live by, it's a story we can live;
 it's a story that can live in us.
And it's a story that's too good to keep to ourselves, so take this story into your heart,
 into your life,
 and into your living.

Don't keep it to yourself; share it with everyone you meet.

That's what we were trying to do this morning: share the best story of all with you.

Easter Proclamation
Ross Gardner
Leader: Christ is risen, Christ is living,
People: Death and the Tomb could not hold Him!
Leader: We no longer look for Him among the dead,
People: He lives forevermore; let us tell the whole world!
Leader: If the Lord had not risen, we would have nothing to believe,
People: We trust His promise, “You will live because I live!”
Leader: The angel at the tomb told the women to go quickly
People: to go quickly and tell His disciples that He had risen!
Leader: That's still our job today, to go quickly and tell.
People: Let us go quickly, and tell the world that Jesus is risen!
                      He is Risen indeed!  Hallelujah!
Postlude "Breakfast"                          newsboys

Last Update: 13 April 2004