Given the fact that tomorrow is Good Friday and I teach at a Christian school (even though many students are not Christian) we spend a good deal of this last week as the countdown to Easter.
I always try to make it less predictable for the students. They’ve heard the story many times – which is no guarantee they really KNOW the story – but at least they know a little about it. But just telling or reading the Bible is not going to get their attention.
So yesterday I focused on music. Most of them have never heard any kind of classical music other than what they hear in my class so I introduced them to …. drum roll … Bach!
Yes, what was I thinking!
They took it well, I have to say. I explained who Bach was and what the famous “Mattheus Passion” is. And we listened to a little part of the intro of the “Mattheus Passion”. Some were not impressed, others were interested, no one really liked it. Of course not … they are twelve! They like Justin Bieber, LOL.
I also made them listen to a more contemporary song about Easter, explaining that it didn’t matter in what time you live but music is always a great way to tell or to experience a story. They liked the modern one better :)
And today we watched a movie, “The Miracle Maker”, about the life and death of Jesus. This time they were totally mesmerized. Afterward we had a good talk about it and I’m now convinced they have at least some understanding what happened and why.
Here’s part one of the movie …
On Dutch national TV we have a new tradition on the day before Good Friday. Two TV channels, The Evangelical Channel and the Roman Catholic Channel have been working together these last three years to produce a TV program about the last hours of Jesus’ life.
It’s a dramatic presentation about the Passion of Jesus Christ: his trial, suffering, death and resurrection. It tells the story in a modern way with contemporary pop music and performances by a number of well-known Dutch celebrities. During the performance, a large procession bearing a 6-metre long illuminated cross moves across the city to the main stage, carried by six “cross bearers” and accompanied by two hundred people from all over the Netherlands.
This year’s Passion took place in The Hague, near the Government buildings, with the cross being carried from the Scheveningen beach along the Peace Palace and our Queen’s palace. And one of Jesus’ disciples was our former vice-premier.
Here’s the trailer …
It was amazing to watch, seeing thousands of people lining the streets of The Hague to watch. Especially as it snowed! Poor actors, they must have been freezing. But they never showed it … A great performance and a beautiful spectacle.