I love Easter; it gives us an opportunity to be creative in ways normal weekends don't. So over the next four days we're having a tanebrae, a reflective Good Friday gathering and two services on Sunday, one of which promises to be very different from anything we've done in previous years (though Jonathan is piloting that one...)
Thinking of fresh angles, looking for film clips and music helps one to appreciate the core Easter message in a new way.
Tomorrow at our lunch time service I'm reflecting on how much the gospels show us Jesus praying in the run up to his arrest and what a contrast that is with the disciples, especially Peter. Jesus is calm and focused, Peter is all over the place. Jesus is able to embrace the unfolding reality and achieve God's purpose in it; Peter is overwhelmed by events, taken by surprise and unable to get his act together. And it's all down to prayer. Simple and hugely difficult at the same time.
I've found some really good stuff in the Jonny Baker Doug Gay collection Alternative Worship and am using a great Vigilantes of Love Song - When you're blinded by the Light - as part of Good Friday's reflection. Having lamented how pear-shaped his love-life has gone, Bill Mallonee sings 'Lord, show to me your face/Lord, show to me your skin/Lord show to me the places/ where the nails went in/gonna crawl in there with all my fears/introduce them to my pretends/ introduce 'em to my sorrows/who've become the best of friends.' Wonderful.
I'm using Jars of Clay's Liquid as the call to worship and a Steve Stockman poem - so there's plenty to help people think about the cross from a variety of fresh angles. Let's hope they do.
I couldn't find a way of including anything from the new Arcade Fire album, however - maybe next year.