Surprising Easter writing
We tend to think about the main characters in the Easter story. But here are some views of Easter written from the point of view of some unlikely people. These were all written by some amateur writers at a Churches Together Easter writing workshop:
Down the hill towards Gethsemane they came,
Darkness all around.
Inside their hearts, a darkness of a much deeper, blacker kind.
Out in front he strode, filled with the blackness of self importance,
Judas – ready to kiss his friend.
A friend, perhaps, who threatened his own tormented darkness with his great light and love.
What prompted you? What persuaded you to give that kiss of death?
Thirty pieces of silver? Hardly that alone. Something deeper, darker?
Surely Lucifer in person, stalked the garden that night rubbing his hands with glee.
The servant who lost his ear
The crowd is surging.
I can smell the excitement and the fear.
We’re going to get him.
The one who causes so much trouble.
How dare he say he is the Christ.
He frightens us by his difference.
I am at the front – the sword is waved – My ear is gone!
I’m disfigured – oh the pain!- now it is me who is different.
His hand reaches out, I am healed and whole again.
I’m overwhelmed – in awe of him.
Such love and tenderness.
Maybe what’s been said is true.
My hatred swallowed up by love.
Mark 14: 66
As Peter was below in the courtyard,
one of the servant-girls of the high priest came …
I was below in the courtyard –
According to them, that was my place.
I wondered if I knew him when I saw his face.
Yes, I’d seen him with James and with John.
I was so glad Jesus wasn’t alone.
I went to the man with the terrified face,
Right there, in that awful space.
I told him that I had seen him with Jesus,
How happy I was he was one of us.
But he didn’t seem to understand,
As if he’d forgotten the Son of Man.
My best friend, she saw him next,
She didn’t believe so she was vexed.
She said that he was from Galilee,
But his reply was it wasn’t he.
What was going on in his head?
He looked as if he’d rather be dead.
Then one of the visitors saw Him there,
But that made him curse all the more.
He even let out a tortured shout.
What on earth was all this about?
I’ve talked to Peter since that time.
And I think that I’d have done the same.
Yes, I was below in the courtyard –
According to them, that was my space.
But not any more, He’s raised me on high,
I’m seated with Him in that heavenly place.
Who changed your minds?
Who captured your hearts?
When not so long ago, only days,
You all cried, ‘Hail the king!’
And now …
Where did it change?
You cry, ‘Give us Barabbas,
Here I lie in this rat infested cell
Destined to die here for my crime
My crime ‘as they call it’ is in name only
Depending solely how you view it
Suddenly the jailer with keys a clanging
Opens my cell, to my utter surprise
You are free to go, his voice unchanging
As he threw me my clothes to the sound of ‘why me’
As I went outside the light was blinding
And saw in the distance a crowd was gathering
‘Crucify crucify’ they said as one
Their voices so loud, so arrogant, so binding
Who is this man who dies in my place?
Who is this man who looks like me?
Who is this man with such love in his face?
Are they so blind, even I can see?
They call him Jesus, worker of miracles or so they say
King of the Jews, a man you should see
They even say he is called The Way
But I don’t care, I am now free
I look at his face
And see only love
I hear father forgive them
And tremble inside.
Simon of Cyrene
Why, who, me?
What are you asking me?
Me, to carry a cross?
You’ve got to be joking me.
I don’t know, who are you?
What have I got to do?
It’s nothing to do with me.
How about you? You could do.
What did he do, to have to carry a cross like that?
There is nothing right in that!
That’s a matter of fact!
Oh come on, you’ve got to help Him,
He’s hardly there.
You can’t make me.
How is he going to get there?
Oh I give in, I’d do it for my sons,
This just can’t go on,
The love just goes on and on!
Tears of Sorrow, Tears of Joy
My Jesus, My Jesus,
You did it all for me,
Gave your life to set me free,
Free to love, free to give,
Free to live, live, live.
Jesus said to him, Truly I say to you, that this night, before the cock crow, you shall deny me thrice.
Old Doodledoo was not the rooster he had once been. His youth gone, he no longer strutted around the barnyard keeping his harem of hens and rousing the household with his crowing when the first glow of dawn lit the sky. Indeed, by all accounts, he should quite a while past have ended up in the stewpot, but old Ely the farmer saw in him a kindred spirit and let poor Doodledoo enjoy the sunshine for a little longer. A younger cockerel strutted the yard and neither he nor the hens paid any heed to Doodledoo, who did not even bother to crow anymore.
Doodledoo had his own perch, not in the henhouse, but in the donkeys’ stall. He and the donkeys got on fine. The older donkey did not mind if Doodledoo perched on her back at night for warmth. I suppose you could say they were friends. The donkey had a foal, now almost full-grown, who shared the stall.
Over the past few days, there had been a lot of activity, a sense of excitement as people prepared for the Paschal feast. Yesterday some men came and borrowed the donkey and foal. The animals had been gone for quite a while before the men brought them back. They came back quite tired because they were not often out in the crowded city. It seemed there had been quite a crowd and a lot of commotion. A man had ridden through cheering crowds on the foal.
A laneway ran along the side of Ely’s barnyard, and it was constantly busy with people coming and going. It led between the marketplace and the Temple. The exceptional noise and shouting and the sounds of animals passing unsettled Doodledoo. Some curious people even wandered off the street into the barnyard, and all of this disturbed the old rooster’s accustomed routine. The evening drew on, it became darker, and silence began to descend. Then suddenly, more people, a crowd surging down the laneway. Doodledoo hopped on top of the gatepillar. The people were bustling a prisoner along in front of them with shouts and raucous laughter. As he passed, the prisoner looked up at Doodledoo, and how can one explain what happened? Can a rooster think, or understand? Yet Doodledoo somehow apprehended that this man, looking at him, was his Creator. A surge of life ran through the rooster’s old body. He felt again youth surging in his veins as when he had ruled the roost so long ago. Soon the crowd had passed and silence returned. But Doodledoo was a different bird.
The setting sun inflamed the western sky with glowering red. There were still people moving around the city, lights were being lit, charcoal fires to keep warm by. Some kind of an argument was going on. A raised voice “No, I tell you, I do not know him!”. Soon the argument broke out again: “No, I am not one of his followers!”. Doodledoo, unsettled somehow by the tone of this shouting, fluttered up onto the rooftop of the donkeys’ stall, as the row ended in angry denials and curses. At that moment, Doodledoo did something he had not done for a long time. He lifted his head, and crowed loudly, and crowed again.
The lane was quiet now. But in the darkness there was the sound of a man, weeping, racked by sobs of grief and sorrow.
And Doodledoo sat on the rooftop, silhouetted against the deep, blood red colour of the western sky.