I guess for many people who express a devotion to Jesus Christ and who identify with his message, the celebration of Easter will be the high point of the annual calendar. It is the time of year when followers of Christ focus on the core elements of their faith, belief and practice.
I’ve always been captivated by the message of Jesus, yet for me the drama of the entire story is the most compelling aspect. The longer I have tried to walk with Jesus, the less the abstract theological interpretations of his story have been relevant to me. What has motivated me to pursue the man was his willingness to demonstrate truth and freedom to all of us. A freedom that transcends death itself in the resurrection and a truth that liberates all the creation from the cruel subjugation of selfish motive and control.
As a group of us stood in the circle of Stonehenge on Easter evening 2010, I was aware that I had very little to say to our small gathering. In recent years I have come to a place in my walk with God where I am aware that I have nothing to say. The Jesus story has already been told and enacted, any additions I may make to it through words are of little substance at best and the egocentric ramblings of an insecure preacher at worst. God I have discovered does not have a problem communicating with people. The wonder of creation, the uniqueness of every person, the emotion of a moment, the hunger for justice and freedom, the hatred of evil, the healing power of a tender touch, the intimacy of love making are some of the myriad of subtle and powerful ways the Creator speaks and is a testimony to the pure genius of The Trinity and my deafness to the vitality of life.
In truth celebrating Easter at Stonehenge was the culmination of a journey I have been on for a number of years. A walk of discovery with Christ, in which the internal journey and narrative has been played out and echoes in the physical world around me. An internal journey away from the noise of religious expression and expectation and towards the stillness and silence of discovery in Christ. A discovery that the Kingdom of God is not about talk, but about power. Its been a journey that I have found deeply disturbing as I have faced my own prejudices, religious addictions, disconnection from creation, lack of rootedness in the earth of my home and landscape, shallowness of my faith and my weakness in allowing my head to be turned by any minor distraction so I can avoid engaging with the Holy Trinity.
Yet it has been a wondrous journey of new possibilities and expression. For me that is what Easter at Stonehenge was all about. The living picture of breaking of bread and drinking of wine in remembrance of Jesus by a rag-tag broken, dysfunctional group of people of whom not all would have said they are followers of Christ. On an Easter date (4 April 2010) that was one of the few days when the western and eastern (I include Celtic church as eastern) celebrated on the same day. Within the iconic British stone circle of Salisbury plain that is one of the world’s most ancient ceremonial sites. A site more associated with druidic practices than with Christ centred ones. And yet it was a unique coming together of all the strands of life; the ancient, the modern, openness to creation, celebration of life, friendship, prayer and spirituality all gathered around the person of Jesus.
There is no where in the world that is off limits to the Holy Spirit and for me Easter at Stonehenge has been like walking through a doorway that leads to a world of endless possibilities in the Spirit.