Tuesday, April 1, 2008
This year we saw over 400 people visit (including approx. 250 primary school children) during holy week. This is what we did. photos can be found here.
1. Jesus weeps over Jerusalem (Luke 19.41-42) | a video meditation reflecting on different cities around the world and how we still don't know what makes for peace
2. Jesus clears the Temple (Matt. 21.12-13) | a giant wailing wall in which people were encouraged to write prayers and place in the cracks
3. Jesus is anointed at Bethany (Mark 14.3-9) | a chance to be sprayed with perfume, for just as the woman wanted Jesus to feel special, so we wanted people to be reminded how they special they are to God. There was then an opportunity to write on a post-it how they wanted to be remembered
4. Jesus washes the disciples feet (John 13.1-15) | There was a photographic display of feet and then an opportunity to have feet washed with this reflection
5. Judas (Matt. 26.14, 47-50) | borrowing from kester brewin's 2006 blog post on the judas i never knew, this was a monologue of judas' story and then an invitation to reflect on different "villians" and ask whether any are wholly evil
6. The Garden of Gesthemane (Matt. 26.36-46) | we made a garden with real grass using the baptistry. in the garden the words of jesus spoken to the disciples we're heard. this reflection went with it.
7. Jesus before the High Priest (Matt 26.57-68) | an opportunity to reflect on jesus' trial in light of unfair treatment of prisoners today. we had an orange jumpsuit. this reflection went with it.
8. Peter (Matt. 26.69-75) | matt smith made some excellent newspaper front covers that told the story of 9 episodes from peter's life. we gave every school child who visited a t-shirt with 9 symbols representing the 9 stories.
9. Jesus before Pilate (Matt. 27.1, 11-26) | this reflection encouraged people to make a difference, we had 5 examples of people who had made a difference. to go with this we had cards from tearfund on life the label, fair trade and cutting carbon footprint.
10. Jesus carries the cross (via dolorasa) | this was a video filmed in the narrow streets of bath, reflecting jesus' journey to the cross.
11. Gologotha (mark 15.22-24) | we made an easter egg cross with this reflection.
12. 'Father into your hands, I commit my spirit' (luke 23.44-46) | an opportunity to write a prayer of something that they wanted to commit to God and place it his hands.
13. 'Surely this man was the Son of God' (mark 15.37-38) | an opportunity to reflect on who is jesus. there were sets of different glasses / binocoluars through which people could view a picture which depending on how you looked it, could be seen the centurion's words. this reflection went with it.
14. Jesus is laid in the tomb (luke 23.50-56) | a bench to sit and wait and reflect on the death of jesus. this reflection went with it.
For now, this Easter space helps to stay with the story from the inside, its building tension, its pain, its desolation and hopelessness. For me it was another meaningful and enriching Holy Week experience.
I wonder how he felt, standing before the religious leaders of his people, knowing that they had the power to do anything to him and he had no protection… Scared? Alone? Despairing?
There are lots of people who face similar illegal trials today. Many people are imprisoned for the “crime” of opposing their government, or for their faith. Some are imprisoned and tortured without having had a trial.
The jumpsuit and cuffs represent the uniform worn by the prisoners of the “war on terror” in Guantanamo Bay. They are one example of many around the world today. I wonder how easy it is to misuse power when we have it?