Friday 30 March 2018


Holy Thursday

 Curious this week, I went to look at the Twitter page of a very young activist. David Hogg is one of the teen leaders of the youth movement pushing for gun control in the US. From the day his school was shot up with an automatic weapon, he’s been speechifying to keep momentum going. He’s polished, and prepared, usually. (A couple of times he’s been heard to swear). I went to his page and was pleasantly surprised to see one thing. 

He’s promoting love. Not once but multiple times. He wants cooperation between opposing political parties, tolerance, and love , not hate. 

Excerpt from The Proof of Your Love
- For King and Country
“If I sing but don't have love
I waste my breath with every song
I bring an empty voice, a hollow noise
If I speak with a silver tongue
Convince a crowd but don't have love
I leave a bitter taste with every word I say”.

“Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”.  Ok, now substitute the word church for country.  With that approach, I should be smiley and open at church, not wait for the congregation to be friendly and open with me, yes?

What if I had tried that for nearly ten years and the congregation were still not chatting with me? What if they preferred to talk to people they’d known a longer time?  I’d probably stop going as often, yes? I’d go less and less frequently until I only went a couple of times a year. It’s less lonely to stay home and listen to the familiar songs and preachers on Christian Radio, than to go to church and feel isolated. God’s tithe? I’d pop it in a charity group’s collection box at the Supermarket. 

Catholic Church, Anglican Church, other traditional churches in the Western World, GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER, you are bleeding congregations! 

On Holy Thursday He gave two main instructions. “Do this in memory of me.” You got that part down pat. The ritual/small victual bit you all do as well as any ancient civilisation or returned soldier league ever did. You even print it in books, so, “this is how we always do it. “

Then we all go home and in many cases, forget all about being Christians until same time next week. 


That doesn’t seem much like the Last Supper to me. Where is the camerarderie?  But wait, there was another, greater instruction on that night with his friends:

“Love one another as I have loved you. “

We live in a world that is getting harsher. We need comfort when we venture through your big doors. If a young family, or homeless person, or new people to town come into your church, are you making them feel welcome? Are you giving them tasks in the church service so they feel useful, wanted? Or are existing members jealously hugging tasks to their breasts as part of their identity (I’m Jack and I’ve been a lectionary reader every week for ten years. I’m Kitty and I do the flowers. Betty over there always cleans. )

So what are the congregants saying to their long time friends after church? Something that often comes up is the ageing of the group. “So few if any of those youngsters doing their Confirmation today are going to come back.” Sure, it’s true. They and their parents are staying away on Sunday mornings, and keeping their church donations, that could have fixed the church roof, or paid the minister’s wages. Lots of churches are getting deconsecrated, closed, and turned into restaurants, art galleries, or private homes. More evidence of the death of IRL (in real life) communities, in a virtual world.


Just ask yourselves why?  Then ask yourselves, what benefits could accrue to your church from being more inclusive?

Jesus was born into the Roman Empire. Business as usual there was to live with ruinous taxes, rise up, protest, get crushed brutally, crucified on the sides of roadways, then mutter darkly until another foolhardy lot tried again. 

Jesus effectively said, well it’s like this: if you do as you’ve always done, you will get what you’ve always had.

His radical point of difference? Love. It is the thing that kept the Christian Church alive for 2000 years, and without Love, the church will die.

We had a Holy Thursday barbecue in the park, with lamb, to symbolise the Passover that Jesus celebrated with his disciples at The Last Supper. We said Grace, and talked about the story of the Jewish Passover. The lamb chops were much more expensive than in the the days before Free Trade. Six cost over $15.00 au. They were beautiful, though, he’s a good butcher. I always cut off the fat. The magpies that are always in the park got that. Ace and I passed our olives to hubby, as we are not into them. The tomatoes are from our back garden, from the raised vegetable bed.

Copyright Runningonempty

Copyright runningonempty

All the table items we already had, most of them for years, except the flowers:

Copyright Runningonempty

Jesus broke the flat bread, and passed the wine around to his friends, so we had grapes to symbolise, and pita bread:

Copyright Runningonempty

Copyright Runningonempty

Copyright Runningonempty

Last year’s Holy Thursday post:


Rina said...

What a beautiful picnic. Love to all, this Easter weekend and all year long.

Running on empty said...

And to you too, Rina!

Anonymous said...

Hi Cath, Lovely table & to u all have a happy/hearty Easter friends! love, Xo, NA

Running on empty said...

The same to you, and your family, NA. Xo