At 7:30 Sunday morning a Sunrise Service was held at Abbie Lane Retreat on US 71 in South Red River parish. Three speakers presented three aspects of the Resurrection from three of Abbie Lane’s prayer gardens.
First stop was the Gethsemane Prayer Garden. There Charles Gibbs, the manager of Abbie Lane explained that the crucifixion started in the garden. Gibbs laid out a visual scene of the location of Gethsemane between Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives.
Gibbs laid out the process of pressing olive oil from olives, saying there are thee pressings with more weight added each time to get every drop of oil. He related the pressing of olives to the three prayers of Jesus in the garden, asking the Father to take the cup from him. Gibbs said each came with greater pressure, yet Jesus said not His will, but the Father’s be done.
Next stop was the Calvary Prayer Garden. There three wooden crosses stand on a hill. Everyone gathered at the foot of the hill. Ashanti Cole of Freedom Worship Center spoke of the crosses, especially the one in the middle, the cross of Jesus. “It should have been me,” Cole said, “But He did it in my place. The guilty man, Barabbas went free.”
Cole told the crowd, “Jesus went through so much but love kept him on that cross. If you and I can’t love as Jesus loved us, we are messed up.” He closed with, “I thank God that we’re all redeemed this morning. I need His forgiveness. I thank Christ for dying in my place. I should love Him enough to live for Him.”
The third stop was at the Empty Tomb Prayer Garden. Bro. James Hester was waiting for the crowd to arrive. Hester has been to Israel and to the tomb thought to be the one where Jesus was buried. “It is one of the most validated events in human history, the tomb is empty,” Hester began. He added, “The empty tomb makes Good Friday good, it gives you and I hope. Aren’t you thankful?”
Hester concluded, “Because the tomb is empty we don’t have to be. We can have the victory. This is good news we can tell.”
Wayne Spears of Abbie Lane wrapped up the morning walk through the prayer gardens with an invitation to the public to come visit any time. The prayer gardens are open for you to visit, sit and reflect, and meditate any time.