By Lucy Bolster
In collating some of the rich menu of thinking and action we have shared together in our Journey to Easter as Reconnect, it seemed to offer itself as a story. I was reminded of Jesus’ parable of the great banquet in Luke 14, and was struck by how many of us replied ‘yes’ to the invitation to join in the week of activities. It was a feast indeed!
In a time, not so long ago, an invitation went out.
People were invited to participate for a whole week, to be community, to learn together, to spend time together, and to share simple hospitality..
The table was ready for the feast….
On the first day of the week, we remembered a donkey and crowds. People offered stories of their travels through gates, but maybe not back through the other way. We noticed Roman eagles and spoke of power and sang of their need for peace. Some people stood alongside our global family responding to the climate emergency. As we talked, we recognised our own complicity in oppression and questioned our approach to rule breaking. Paper palm crosses were made and gifted.
On the second day of the week, we thought about anger at injustice in the temple. We brought wonderings about the things we have guardianship over. Some prayed, others swam and several walked and talked.
On the third day of the week, people brought celebration….celebration with those who finally gained keys – Alleluia! We wondered at the man who said such amazing things and did such wonderful things as he taught. Some shared their stories of the power of love and trust from teachers to create safe spaces for learning. Others noticed beautiful decorations at the hospital.
On the fourth day of the week, we played with breadmaking and wondered about the pace and rhythm of our lives and how we might ‘be in’ the process. We longed for good yeast. We shared in the small miracle of an online choir singing the Easter story. Later, we ate freshly made bread and sipped wine to remember together another meal with bread and wine and water to wash with. Separated by screens, but brought together by the story, we were reminded of a self-emptying offering in the simple action of upturned palms outside in the cool evening.
On the fifth day of the week, some of us noticed thorns in a garden which should have killed a flower, but somehow beauty, colour and life emerged and survived. There were beautiful eggs created in remembrance of family traditions and in readiness for the celebration to come. This was the strangely named ‘good’ day of the week, where we offered both silence and song and remembered the suffering of the man on the cross watched by those also hanging, and others mourning, each in their lonely places.
On the sixth day of the week, Saturday, …..all the community, echoing the story, were quiet and waiting….almost as if ”all was in shreds, rags” around us.
And then, very early in the morning, on the final day of the week, remembering the women who went to a garden tomb, we met again and were “unfastened and set free” with songs, a heartbeat, and recognition of pain still lived, yet changed. We celebrated the God-man who walked and somehow still walks with us in both suffering and joy, and shared the warmth of a hot drink in the cold air and visited a cairn of hope surrounded by flowers.
The table had been filled with so many offerings.
The feast was finished.
Or maybe it was just beginning?
I wonder which offering at this feast was like food for you/our community?
I wonder what other offerings you/our community, might want to add to this feast?
If you would like to wonder about, play with and reflect on this story or a story about resurrection written by another member of our community, you could host a small group and invite me into your garden to facilitate a community story session. (If this sounds interesting, I can send more info about this way of being together to explore conversation about deep things in a playful and creative way)
If this interests you, get in touch via all the usual ways….text, email, WhatsApp, facebook or even a good old fashioned phone call. Looking forward to more feasting in the days to come!