Friday, 3 April 2015

"I Don't Know How To Love Him."


"I don't know how to love Him."

For me, that line, sung by Mary Magdalene, and later by Judas,  in the rock opera, 'Jesus Christ Superstar' was a wake-up call.

 It is our tradition at this time of the year, just before the celebration of Easter, to take out our recording of that rock opera and spend some quiet time just listening.   Each time that we do,  My husband and I are transported back to the year 1973.  There, in the living room of our small home in Osgoode, we gathered with a group of good friends and shared an idea that was inspired by a project that my father-in-law's church in Montreal had very successfully taken on.  A group of young people there had put on a slide and light presentation using the music from the original recording.

 Why couldn't we?

 With the support of our Parish Priest and members of  St. Brigid's Church - which ranged from hesitant at first to completely enthusiastic by its completion, we shared, debated, and grew with the project.  Through the cold Winter months we met in a warm atmosphere of excitement and camaraderie as we delved into the Easter story and all of the deep meanings and ramifications of that 'story' as they were presented in the Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice musical.

 Our idea was to immerse the audience in a richer experience with lighting effects and slides, bringing a visual dimension to the music, to provoke deeper thought.  We gathered and perused hundreds of pictures of everyday objects and people, which, viewed in the light of the music,  became not ordinary, but extraordinary!  We even created some of our own with shadow pictures (I'm thinking Tommy Kelly with a makeshift crown of thorns and a robe).  We were challenged both intellectually and spiritually to confront the interpretation of the 'truths' as put forth in the original production.  On Good Friday, we were nervous but ready.  There was no need to worry - All of the controversial aspects of the production were forgotten in an atmosphere of surprisingly deep reflection.

After Jesus spoke his final words:  "It is finished.   Father, into your hands I commend my Spirit."
there was complete silence, and then a beautiful musical interlude. With a spectre ball casting starlight about the darkened church, no one wanted to move or speak - It was truly a powerful unspoken prayer - one in which we each asked of ourselves:  "How do I love Him?"

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