Over Easter, our resident artist lent Jesus to our church. The presence of Jesus is with us all the time, but this was what one of my congregation described as “a Debenhams dummy” dressed in jeans and boots. Through Holy Week and on into Easter, his clothing changed as he stayed with us through this most Holy Week.
The reactions to our Jesus were nearly always intense. It was clearly difficult to be ambivalent around him. Some hated his lack of facial features, or his very presence. Others found him thought-provoking, a visual symbol of the presence of Christ, accompanying us as we accompanied him through Holy Week.
Most of the time, he was in the way, standing by the altar rail, ready to trip the unaware. He was a dark shadow in the church, especially first thing in the morning.
I loved having Jesus ‘in the way’ though Holy Week. He was just where and as he should be in our lives at this most precious time when we remember Jesus’ journey to the cross. He was inconveniently present in the temple, at the table, on the journey, until he was with us in the sunshine of Easter. Love him or hate him, Jesus was present to us in more ways than one this Easter.