Saturday was glorious! The first day of the Easter holidays and the sun was shining. The PTA had planned an “Easter Afternoon” (read egg hunt with refreshments and bouncy castle). Oh and a Bake Off. As you can imagine there were lots of beautiful, yummy, chocolatey creations melting in the sunshine.
But surely there is more to Easter than chocolate? And here is where being a Clergy Mummy paid off: as a mum, an insider, I was able to offer an alternative point of view, one which came in the form a sandpit: a huge sand box and all the trimmings to make an Easter Garden. Here children could play, could imagine themselves part of the Palm Sunday procession; here they could place the crosses on a hill, and decide whether Jesus should be left hanging from it, or build him a cave to seal his body in. Perhaps they would leave the cave open and empty. Here they could play and explore and begin to understand for themselves what really happened at Easter.
Holy Week is a long journey to the cross and beyond, when Clergy duties come before Mummy ones; of course it’s best when the two are woven together, when I can bring my children on the journey and they can experience the excitement of Palm Sunday and sing their hosannas; feel welcome at the Lord’s Table, and experience the shock of betrayal; know the bleakness of the cross and the long wait for Easter Sunday. Of course I want them to taste the joy of chocolate too, that dreamy, moment when the first piece of egg melts on the tongue, but much more than that I want them to experience the realisation that Jesus’ love and life are eternal, and of belonging to eternity with him.
Vanessa is an ordained priest in the Church of England, serving in a team of seven churches in rural Hampshire. She currently shares the rectory with her husband, two daughters and two cats. The menagerie is due to acquire more chickens in the spring and possibly a dog later in the year. Vanessa blogs at www.nothinglikeadane.wordpress.com and you can follow her at www.facebook.com/thewallopingvicar or @wallopingvicar