Thought for the Day : Saturday 25 April

Thought for the Day from Nigel Greenwood of St Chads:

Readings: Ecclesiasticus 51:13-30 and Acts 12:25-13.13

Alongside many others of my generation, “Jesus Christ, Superstar” was a truly pivotal moment in my faith journey. Although challenging to some, it emphasised the humanity of Christ in an enlightening and stimulating way, offering new insights into his life and ministry. Through passionate music and words, the story unfolds – making it both accessible and informative, with so much to reflect and indeed pray about.

Of course, the story is familiar – but for many the most powerful moments are right at the end of the film version, as the actors walk unhurriedly down from the three crosses, with occasional glances back as they board the coach before it drives away into the desert. In the restatement of a forceful song by Jesus himself in Gethsemane, the tune now returns softly, gently and without words, bringing a moving yet powerful accompaniment to their departure. Perhaps significantly, the actor who played Judas lingered and was the last one to get on the bus.

With the coach disappearing into the distance creating a swirl of dust, the representation is potent and intense – with phrases such as ‘moving on’, ‘starting a new journey’, ‘things can never be the same’ or ‘where do we go from here’ buzzing around in the mind. This all represents not so much an ending as a transition – just as we, renewed each year, look forward in the certainty of the living Jesus as a driving force in our lives.

The music has an unassuming title: ‘John 19:41’ (telling how Jesus was laid in a new tomb in the garden). During this scene there was a great stillness throughout the cinema, such was the sensation and influence of the imagery …. full of symbolism with hauntingly powerful music.

For the actors, for the disciples, for ourselves – nothing can be the same.

Much can be drawn from the conclusion to the film, but as Christians we are surely inspired as we go out into the world to love and serve the Lord – for looking towards Ascension and Pentecost, we inevitably glance back as we continue to reflect over the events which took place during Easter.

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