Saturday, 9 April 2011

Remembering: passion, betrayal, resurrection and ... painting

Today I taught KT on my own and turned up to spend time with the young people with some paint brushes and a clear idea that we would read the passion narrative together.

We began by doing about half an hour of remembering the passion story. To help with this I put on the table some branches of hazel - a bowl, a towel, a jug of water, one of the communion chalices and the communion patten. The more I use the remembered Bible method the more I realise how affiriming of people's inner Bibles it is. It was great with the young people today because the two less academic ones actually know the Bible stories much better. One thing that struck me as we were remembering together was how time is concertina-d - you go forwards backwards and sideways - and of course you're dealing with four gospels at the same time too so there's lots going on and amazing how details get remembered - one girl today remembered the ear being chopped off.

After our remembering we started reading Luke's gospel, aloud, sitting peaceably around the table. We began with the entry into Jerusalem - the branches on the table were to prompt thoughts of this. Palm Sunday is called "branches Sunday" in French. It is branches rather than palm crosses which are blessed and taken home from Roman Catholic churches. We ended with Jesus being laid in the tomb. It was qutie extraordinary sitting there on a wonderful sunny spring day with a group of adolescents remembering and reading the Bible. After reading we wrote prayers of thanksgiving for Christ's witness for the way he had chosen. Each of us tried to focus on three things. All of us wrote powerful words. I could tell that the group were completely engaged with the story. We also read the footwashing from John's gospel ... and we talked about prisoners of conscience and the work of Amnesty International and Christian Action Against Torture, and we prayed. We talked about violence, their experiences of it at school and in daily life.

After lunch we read the story of the resurrection in Luke's gospel, the Emmaus story right on through to the ascension. And we talked about hope and life, the meaning and gift of resurrection. And then we painted and they just took over and the act of painting became part of our remembering and understanding. They created a sort of Jackson Pollock like fabulous mess in the centre of the paper, then surrounded it with images of flowers and smiley faces hearts and points of colour and their names and words of hope. What was brilliant was listening to how they came to an agreement about what to do and then seeing their pure glee in all starting to paint together and throw the paint around. Wonderful energy. I think I was moved that they wanted to put their own names as part of the resurrection framework for the painting.
Now I just have to hope that they become friends with me on Facebook so that I get to see the photos of our work of art - yes I took my paintbrushes but forgot to take my camera so we'll have to wait a while for some pictures.

1 Comment:

janetlees said...

sounds like a fab session. I did some with 15-16 year olds at school last term and the ear got remembered quite a bit as did the fig tree - all good stuff. You can now get 'Word of Mouth' as an e-book from the Iona website - and the second one will be out soon - hurray!