This is the story of Jesus of Nazareth

 

A peasant from a village above the Sea of Galilee was overwhelmed by a visitation of the Spirit welling up from inside: it was as if it was always part of him.

 

He was filled with power and spoke a message of deep peace, with an authority, unknown until then, to men and women, children and rabbis: anyone who would hear.

 

And he also acted with power - healings, miracles, signs of the power of God present among the ordinary people of his day: everyone was astonished.

 

This is the story of Jesus of Nazareth and his friends

 

Jesus gathered around himself an assortment of followers: fisherman, tax collectors, Zealots, women, seekers after truth: an unconventional crowd of unreliables.

 

Twelve, in particular, he chose.  A community of peace empowered with the Spirit to witness to good news: destined to be the first in a long line of failures.

 

Gathering them together he warned them that the only path to success and liberation was failure and loss: they didn't understand

 

This is the story of Jesus of Nazareth and his friends and their last journey

 

Jesus set off for Jerusalem knowing that this would be his last journey: the end of his ministry and the beginning of everything

 

Jerusalem welcomed him as the herald of a new era of peace but soon the authorities became concerned: gathering like wolves around the sheepfold.

 

Before the end (which is the beginning) he gathered around him the twelve for the Passover meal: this is the story as Paul told it to the Corinthians years later:

 

"I received from the Lord the teaching that I passed on to you: that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took a piece of bread, gave thanks to God, broke it, and said, "This is my body, which is for you. Do this in memory of me." In the same way, after the supper he took the cup and said, "This cup is God's new covenant, sealed with my blood. Whenever you drink it, do so in memory of me." This means that every time you eat this bread and drink from this cup you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes."

 

 

We share communion together

 

 

This is the story of Jesus of Nazareth and his friends and their last journey to the cross and beyond

 

After sharing the meal together they went to a garden just outside the city where Jesus prayed in great anguish: his friends fell asleep

 

Then, led by Judas the betrayer, the authorities came and arrested Jesus.  A mock trial, intrigue, politics and the washing of hands followed.  Then torture and a grisly death on the cross: his friends fled

 

Later, three days later, strange things began to happen.  Rumours spread, stories were repeated amongst his friends, but one thing they knew: Jesus was amongst them once more

 

This is the story of Jesus of Nazareth.  Let us continue to walk in his way