the crucifixion’s not a story about a cross and some nails…

i’ve been thinking about how to do the stories of holy week justice next week. i just tried burning black candles in a dark room to see how they looked (fabulous)… at the same time the radio was on, and i was listening to an interview with the director of a passion play being held in melbourne. At one point he said “we’re recreating the story of Jesus exactly as it happened”.

Two thoughts started to collide in my head.

Firstly, a quote from Mark Pierson in The Prodigal Project: “I want to suggest that worship preparation is primarily about offering a context rather than a content. The context being an environment in which heart, soul, mind and strength have opportunity to respond to God…”

Secondly, i wonder if we’ve been too guilty of trying to recreate the stories of holy week and easter within their historical context (though i do wonder how we can ever imagine we do that!). We’re very skilled at recreating the final meal of Jesus, nailing things to a cross, creating gardens at the front of a church (complete with empty tombs and stones) on easter sunday… but by continually recreating the story in that way, perhaps we romanticise, and even distance, the story from our reality… much like we do with the nativity.

the challenge for worship over the next few weeks is to create a context, (and because my mind always begins with the physical environment, i guess that’s where i’d want to begin), that tells the ongoing story of the betrayal and crucifixion of love by power, and of love’s ultimate resurrection, in the world today.

i wonder why it is that seems so much harder to do.