Friday, 25 March 2016
On this Good Friday it seemed appropriate for us to consider persecution and so the good folk of The Village church in Kemp Town put some thoughts together on this theme. The day was clear and sunny but there was a bitterly cold wind blowing along the seafront which concentrated our minds and made sure everyone kept moving around to try and stay warm.
Mary and her team took the image of a hammer as their central motif because a hammer can be used to drive a nail home or to release it. In the middle of the hut was a piece of timber bristling with nails and as one of the team read a story about humanities propensity to try and nail everything down, another nail was hammered into the wood.
We were also treated to the story of Paul Harfleet, an artist who plants pansies at the sites of incidents of homophobic abuse to highlight the persecution LBGTQ people are sometimes subjected to. You can read about his work here.
Then we were all invited to come and release a nail and to collect a packet of seeds to plant wherever we like as a sign of our commitment to stand up to abuse and persecution.
Each night we have also had a simple sharing of bread and wine in remembrance of Jesus who was judged, burdened, faltered, loved, persecuted and eventually killed.
Tomorrow the final hut will focus on death as it falls on the day after Jesus has died and been laid in the tomb but before the day when he rises from the dead.
The theme on the fourth day of Holy Week was compassion but the weather was not very compassionate to us as it was rainy, cold and windy on the seafront for the first time this week. Fortunately artist Lizzie Edwards was ensconced in the hut, out of the weather, along with her installation which was a modern take on Jesus compassionate act of service of the disciples at the last supper.
This fourth holy week hut is on the day we call Maundy Thursday when the church celebrates the instigation of the communion meal in the breaking of bread and sharing of wine, commemorating Jesus last meal with his friends before his journey to the cross.
The gospel of John tells us:
This act of service showed us how we should behave towards each other, putting the other first and showing our love and compassion by serving them.