My Instagram account mainly shows over-processed photos of a few of the meals I’ve cooked. I’ve only amassed 26 photos since I joined the service in 2015. Some of my friends and contacts there post more regularly and include short video blog content too. I’m aware of that trend in social media but haven’t yet embraced it; I haven’t even got accounts on services like Snapchat and Tik Tok. However, imagine what kind of vlogging might have been going on if mobile phones and multi-media messaging services were available in first century Palestine, when Jesus of Nazareth was interrupted from his ministry of teaching and healing and killed on a Roman execution cross, when the sky went dark and the temple curtain ripped from top to bottom.
My latest ‘ambitious but it might just work’ project at church is a response to the fact that we are approaching our second Easter under lockdown restrictions. I’ve commissioned a number of people from the church to perform a series of short scripts I’ve written, based on the premise that a fictional service called ‘Tak’ is all the rage. From Maundy Thursday evening, we will be sharing the results. Familiar characters like Peter and a few of the less well-known ones, like that serving girl he lied to while Jesus was being fixed up in the temple courts, all get a chance to tell us what they know and show us what they are feeling.
You can already find the playlist on our YouTube channel (Tak for Easter) and I’ve posted a taster video, which I also used to explain the idea to my actors:
This morning, I’ve just finished a Zoom call with our Joseph of Arimathea and I’m delighted with that and the other performances I’ve had back so far. I found writing the scripts emotionally intense, because it made me engage with the experiences and perspectives of the characters as if I were there, inside the story. I’ve found myself moved again as I’ve watched each of the videos I’ve had back so far – what a talented bunch I’m privileged to labour alongside! I hope that others will share with me again in the tears of sorrow and tears of joy as the episodes go live. I hope members of the congregation forget that they are seeing Colin and Natalie and Adrian and others and find themselves inside the story. They are available for anyone else who wants to watch along too. The next one goes up at 6pm on 1 April and there should be a new video every three hours until the following afternoon and final episode on Easter Sunday morning.