03 April 2010

Our Last Supper

It's Easter, a special weekend for Christian believers all over the world. I have this thing where I really want our kids to experience and connect with the wonderful stories of our faith. Because to me they are more than stories.

These events really happened; they're historically proven. The people were real human beings: Peter (the loudmouth), John (the softie), Mary (the reformed bad girl) and Mary (the mother)... how would they have felt when all the drama was unfolding?

Sitting around that table, eating pita bread and drinking wine, could they have imagined that in a few short hours their lives would be turned upside down and the unthinkable would have happened? Jesus, the One they had followed and believed in, would be arrested, betrayed by one of their friends, and executed publicly - a long slow death.

When I imagine myself in that group, I can't judge Peter for denying he knew Jesus. He was scared, terrified that what had just happened to Jesus would happen to him next. Could I have done any better? I don't think so. No wonder Peter fled, ashamed of himself for denying his friend. I wouldn't have wanted to show my face either.
Loyal John stuck by Jesus, standing at the foot of the cross as his hopes drained away with Jesus' lifeblood. John supported Mary, the mother (probably not much older than me; she married young). Poor Mary, watching her precious son die so horribly, so unjustly. I put myself in her shoes and I think her heart must have been smashed to pieces.

When I was a child I used to really get into the whole Easter story. For me, strangely, it was never really about the chocolate and bunnies. I would think to myself throughout the weekend, "This time one thousand ninehundred and seventynine years ago Jesus was... talking to Pilate... hanging on the cross...laying in the tomb..."

I found myself thinking the same thing this morning... "Easter Saturday... Jesus was in the Tomb..." It's the in-between day. Nothing really happens on Easter Saturday. Jesus was just dead. The empty in-between.

Then a thought flashed through my mind: But what was he doing while he was dead?? His body was laying in the tomb, but his True Self was elsewhere. My Bible tells me he was plundering darkness, stripping the devil of his power, taking the keys of Death and Hell, leading captivity captive. He was very busy.

Easter Saturday is the day that evil lost its teeth - although it seemed like all hope was lost and all dreams were dashed. While on the surface of things it looked like nothing was happening, in another dimension that Old Serpent was being stripped of his power. Because of what happened on that day, he is no longer the gatekeeper to Death, he has no more power over us (only as much power as we give him by listening to his lies.)

I'm sure that millions of other people have had this realisation before, but for me it felt new. I went to church and sang my heart out for the first time in years.

That's why we celebrate Easter. It's why Easter Sunday is so important: Death was conquered; Jesus burst out of the grave; it could not hold him down.

I am aware that not everyone reading this shares my faith; I know there are plenty of skeptics out there. That's OK. I'm not trying to convince your mind, I'm just talking from my heart. I heard my pastor say today, if we approach God through our intellect, he'll only ever be as big as our mind (which for me is pretty darn small).

My faith doesn't mean I leave my brain at the door - no way! But it does mean that I acknowledge there is something (Someone) way bigger than me, something I can't explain, something I've only touched the corner of. But there's a knowing, a deep down glowy knowing... that this is more than a story, it's more than a set of ideals or beliefs. Jesus is real. A real person. Really Really Real. And Alive. Happy Easter!

Our Last Supper: The kids had a friend each for dinner; there were teatowels on heads and sheets put to good use. On the Menu: Spiced roast lamb, pita bread (rice, corn, grapes, hummus) and red wine (er, grape juice). The kids took turns reading the Easter Story from the Childrens Bible. It was fun :)

Shalom! (Peace be with you!)

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Jen said...

Peace with you too :)

:) this post made me smile :)

what a lovely experience for your children and their friends

Weza said...


PaisleyJade said...

I love what you do - we usually share a family communion (buns and red drink) but the dressing up part makes it even more awesome.

Well done guys - moving and inspiring.

Sarah Gauntlett said...

what a great idea! and they all look so cute!

Sarah said...

Beautiful! I feel so inspired by your beliefs and the way you celebrate with your children. Your post really touched me. Wishing you all a very Happy Easter x

Trees said...

You are amazing, what incredible memories you are making. And thank you so much for your words too. Happy Easter x

Gail said...

This is great Simone!

Unknown said...

A blessed Easter to you and yours! What a great thing to do with the kids.
I do the same thing as you... think Jesus was hanging on the cross right now. Mary was walking to the tomb and found it empty.
But I don't think I have really ever given thought to what he did between death and resurrection. Thank you for bringing that to mind!

Anonymous said...

Nicely done Simoney!!!
It just brings it all "home" doesn't it.
much love and light to you!

ps i am always supportive of dressing up to be more authentic! hey that one little girl visitor looks a little familiar...mmmmmm

donnasimone said...

Yes it seems to work. But now, how do I get my older comments imported???

donnasimone said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Gail said...

Very flash!

jennyyarbrough said...

It seems to be working for you! The only thing I don't like about leaving comments w/disqus is that I have to sign in to leave it. I'll be interested in hearing from you whether this causes people to leave fewer comments... it sure seems easier for you to reply though!

Morgan said...

What great memories they'll have from the dinner! And what a great conversation starter/learning experience too!

I'd love to do something like this with my kids sometime.

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