As the sun began to illuminate the sky and warm the crisp spring air, more than 150 people sat in silence as they listened to a sermon that seemed to touch many of them personally.
The Easter Sunrise sermon, â€œThe Big Rocks of Life,â€ by Chaplain (Col.) Daniel Minjares, Network Enterprise Technology Command chaplain, started with Minjares shouting â€œI like Arizona!,â€ after which the crowd applauded. The scene of the services on Reservoir Hill, over looking the Fort Huachuca installation and surrounding areas, as well as giving a prominent view of the mountains in every direction seemed to fit the message perfectly.
â€œThe sermon was fabulous â€” really good when he opens up with â€˜I like Arizona!â€™ I mean what can you not like about Arizona? And it was inspirational, moving the big rocks,â€ said Dorothy Ashcraft, one of those who attended the service.
â€œThis is something we have done over the years [attending the sunrise service], and there is just something really spiritual about the sun coming up starting a new day, and we just wanted to be here to participate,â€ Ashcraft said.
Minjares shared his thoughts about the service.
â€œEaster sunrise services, I think are great. It is tradition, as I said in the sermon of the women going to the tomb early on that first Easter morning, now known as â€˜Resurrection Morning,â€™ so itâ€™s a great way to celebrate, getting up early and going, and remembering the resurrection of Christ,â€ he said.
â€œThe sermon centered on the great big rocks of our lives, thinking about great big rocks, and that we all have stuff in life that we deal with in various ways that we need help moving sometimes,â€ Minjares added.
â€œWe have great big rocks of family problems, marital issues, problems with our kids, career challenges, illnesses, things in our lives that just force their way in. The great big rocks are our attitudes of our lives, perceptions of things that happened to us that we think should have been different â€” we have those great big rocks in our lives,â€ Minjares said.
The chaplain answered the question of who will move the great big rocks in your life for the crowd.
â€œBecause of Easter, the â€˜whoâ€™ has been answered. Jesus will move the great bug rocks in your life. Thatâ€™s all you have to remember from the sermon this morning, trust him for that. He wonâ€™t fail you; he will not abandon you.â€
Another chaplain shared his thoughts about the service.
â€œI think Reservoir Hill probably has the greatest scenery to look out and canvas the area; it is just gorgeous. I think mountains are often great places of serenity and perspective; you can â€¦ see life overall just from a mountain view,â€ said Chaplain (Col.) Kenneth Revell, senior post chaplain.
â€œI thought the service went very well. We have been very fortunate because of the amount of people that come, some from on-post, some from off-post. This has been a tradition long before I got here [in 2010] so I basically just ride the train,â€ Revell said.
â€œAlmighty God, as we celebrate the Resurrection and Your victory over hell, death and the grave, help us who name Your name, to live in the power of that Resurrection as we personally and collectively engage the â€˜Gethsemanes,â€™ the â€˜Good Fridaysâ€™ and the â€˜Calvarysâ€™ of life. May the power of your Resurrection undergird our deployed forces and all who carry the burden of freedom. Cause us who live in the light and the glory of that resurrection to be â€˜Easter Peopleâ€™ as we live in a â€˜Good Friday World,â€™â€ Revell, told the crowd.
The Main Post Chapel organized the sunrise service. Bagels, doughnuts and refreshments were offered after the event.