Identifying the gardener
At both the Sunrise Service and later at a service in the sanctuary, the story on this Easter morning focused on the gardener outside the tomb — the gardener seen by Mary Magdalene and the gardener whose identity was not known.
As it was revealed in a sermon in the sanctuary and during a talk at Two Lights, the gardener was not only Jesus, but Jesus the Master Gardener of all creation.
For this story, Shirley Maxwell Royall, an accomplished gardener herself, portrayed the Easter morning gardener at both services. While “In the Garden” was being sung at Two Lights, she tended to the flowers on the rocks and later handed out cut flowers to some who had gathered in the chilly temperatures of first light.
In the sanctuary, while the choir sang, she cultivated the soil in the potted plants around the communion railing. The image was one not usually seen on Easter morning, but it fit so well, it likely will not be forgotten by those who witnessed it.
At the end of the Sunrise Service, the gardener walked away from the crowd, climbed up over the rocks and looked out over the ocean. Unfortunately, the heavy cloud cover on the horizon prevented the sun from breaking through, like we have joyfully seen on many other Easter mornings.
In the sanctuary service, the gardener also was one of the Communion servers.
Also on Easter morning, Carol Hubbard and Deanne Burr led the Sunday School children with a lesson about the resurrection and the empty tomb. After telling the story, Carol and Deanne worked with the children on a hands-on lesson of what they had just heard.
Each child was given strips of unbaked crescent rolls and were told to place a marshmallow in the center and then roll them up.
The rolls were then placed in the oven to bake. When they were done, each child was told to break open the roll.
What they found was a hollow center — an empty tomb.
Thank you to Carol and Deanne for the lesson and the visual experience.
Also thank you to everyone who brought flowers to the church to be used in the “garden” in front of the altar.
Click here for more images of Easter morning at both the sunrise and sanctuary services: