Since my children started at a Catholic school, they have – I am delighted to report – discovered that Easter isn’t all about chocolate. Today is Maundy Thursday. (Isn’t Maundy a funny word. It refers to the Maundy, which was when Jesus washed the feet of the disciples during the Last Supper.) Anyway, today there was a very sombre assembly at school in which the children re-enacted the crucifixion of Jesus and we all had to think a lot about it.
I am not very good at thinking about Jesus. I wish I were better at it. It would be so very comforting to have faith in the Almighty and his son and all that lies ahead after death if you are decent and kind. And some of the best people I know have Jesus in their lives, they are kind and giving and glowing with health. And every time I see a charming parish on a British telly series I wish I could have found God so I could live in the gorgeous rectory and know everyone’s business. Lots of cool stuff is likely to happen in those vestries, and when I’m rushing about all over the place with children and duties and my silly pursuits, I yearn for a quiet cloister. Plus I would like to say prayers before bed, put trust in them and sleep the deep sleep of the faithful.
I did pray once. When my twins were born far too early and I thought they might die from their smallness. I prayed because I wasn’t skilled in neonatal intensive care and I didn’t know what else to do. And because I was exhausted from having just done all that pushing the neonates out. Then I felt guilty for praying to someone who didn’t know me from Adam. Which is weird because according to Him, we’re all from Adam. Anyway, they were fine. And I did a little bit of a thank you to Him, got on with being their Mum and really didn’t give Him another moment of my time.
It worries me sometimes but not very often because mostly I can’t get my brain to make me a believer. Mine is a big bang brain. Well mostly. I do believe in an afterlife but that’s another story.
Anyway, Jesus has now entered our house via the children and their new school which may or may not be on account of me praying for them to be protected. And this week, being Holy Week, has been a big Jesus week. I am supportive of it because it’s an important part of education and I love a bit of tradition and history. Not to mention all the forgiveness and tolerance and kindness that comes with the religion heralded in their school. I love that at their school they are viewed as a gift from God. Fine with me; I think they’re pretty special too.
I love their earnest and easy acceptance of it all. Envy it and curse my stubborn brain.
Here’s a recent car conversation regarding Jesus:
Lucie: Mum we saw Jesus in the graveyard.
Bess: No we didn’t actually see him, we just saw him on the stick.
Ed: The cross. Not the stick.
Bess: Why was he on the cross?
Me: They killed him and then hung him up on a cross.
Me: (eeek) They were bad men.
Lucie: He was born in a staple and then he died in a cave with a rock but the rock moved and he was rosen again halleluiah. (Sings a few hosannas)
Bess: He was born in a staple?
Ed: How did the rock move mum?
Me: I’m not sure that they know. A miracle maybe?
Lucie: He couldn’t have moved the rock because he was dead. Where did the cross go though?
Ed: Mum do you believe in Jesus?
Me: Gulp (silence)
Lucie: I do. I really do. (Hosanna, hosanna)
Ed: It’d be cool to be related to Jesus.
Bess: No one’s related to Jesus.
Me: Except maybe God.
Lucie: How much dollars did Jesus have?
Me: Not much at all I don’t think. Did you have music today?
Lucie: Yes. (Hosanna, hosanna)
Bess: I’m thirsty.
Me: Me too.
(Car swings into bottle shop)
But what I really came here to say was HAPPY EASTER, HAPPY HOLIDAYS, DRIVE CAREFULLY, KEEP SAFE and don’t overdo the chocolate.
And when you bite into your first chocolate egg on Sunday, give a little thought to Jesus who, died for us and was rosen again.
If you’re camping in Tasmania, or anywhere for that matter, I’ll pray for you.