We started off around the village hall, hunting for Palm crosses, we then followed a mysterious woman carrying a water jug. She led us to a very special room in the newly renovated old Methodist Chapel. The floor was so new that the bees wax had barely hardened so we had to take our shoes off which made it feel like we we were walking on Holy Ground. An autisitic child was beside himself when one adult didn’t take off their shoes, it was so special. The older folk were amazed at the transformation and how beautiful the place had become.
Here we are on the floor (all 27 of us) listening as Jesus washed his disciples feet. Later we shared the bread on the table.
We were then led to the garden of Gethsemane-the old vicarage garden. It is terraced so each part of the garden could be used to tell the story. The children had fun chasing around looking for swords, nails, cockerels, bowls of water, purple robes, crowns of thorns and other items. They then carried a huge cross through the garden gate into the graveyard of the church which is on a hill over looking the village. There they wrote prayers on bits of paper for those who were suffering and put a stone on them to stop them blowing away. I will roll the stones away on Easter morning.
BUT I had forgotten. Oh God, thank you for redeeming my mistakes. The place where I had decided to plant the cross was only 2 metres away from the grave of one of the children’s daddy who died 18 months ago. How could I forget! It immediately dawned on me why the child hadn’t wanted to leave her plasticene model of feeling alone amongst the trees in the garden. It had been kept in her pocket so that it could go on Dad’s grave and yet she had no idea that we were going to end up there.
I so easily forget what is going on for the familes who come to these alternative services. Nearly all of them are extremely vulnerable in some way or another and mostly my heart breaks for them. I so easily forget thet I am walking on Holy ground.
I would die inside if we couldn’t do this sort of creative worship for them, when they are free to be themselves and when they are loved for who they are. This is where I belong. Help me to love.
Roll on Easter.