Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Day 3: Jesus shares a Last Supper

Study for The Last Supper
by Becki Jayne Harrelson

A queer version of Christ’s Passion is running in daily installments this week from Palm Sunday through Easter. Each daily post features a queer Christian painting and an excerpt from the novel Jesus in Love: At the Cross by Kittredge Cherry.

All of them, male and female, were seated around the table. They smiled at me eagerly when I took my seat. The air was filled with the inviting aroma of fresh-baked bread. John was on one side of me and Judas on the other. My disciples had been chatting and nibbling on olives and other appetizers, but now they all stopped in anticipation of the official start of the meal. …

I tore the bread in half with my human hands. In my mind I ripped a chunk out of my own divine heart. A spark of sacred energy exploded into infinity when the two pieces of my heart separated. It hurt! I was bleeding red light. Shafts of pink and scarlet now pierced the white light that poured from me.

“This is my body, given for you. Do this in remembrance of me,” I said. When I passed the bread to my friends, I also offered them chunks of my divine heart….

I took a sip of the wine. It was dry and delicious, mixed with just the right amount of water. I prepared to pass this cup of blessing around the table according to our Jewish custom, but first I said something that was not part of the standard ritual.

“Drink, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”

… I handed the cup to John. He looked in it warily and saw his own reflection on the surface of the liquid.

“Go ahead, drink up.” I touched his shoulder gently.

He sipped. The Holy Spirit sighed. Inside John’s soul, a piece of my divine heart started beating. Somehow it was able to receive the red light that was bleeding from the wound in my heart.

(Continued here tomorrow)
Becki Jayne Harrelson is an Atlanta artist who challenges mainstream religious beliefs via art. Raised in a fundamentalist Christian family, she cares passionately about lesbian rights and other justice issues.

Detail from Study for The Last Supper


KittKatt said...

Someone emailed me to say that she wasn't able to leave a comment here, so I'm testing the comment feature. If you're reading this, it's working.

Trudie said...

I really love the way you handled the Last Supper in At the Cross -- I believe the theology is "right on". I kind of wish, though, that before the scene you used in today's blog, you'd used part of the "foot washing" scene, which I like even more. But maybe you've got that planned for some other time. Anyway, it motivated me to reference that specific part of my dad's "tryptich" on FB. Smile.

Kittredge Cherry said...

I love the footwashing scene, too. But it's not included in my Holy Week series -- at least not this year. It's hard to pick out 8 short scenes from a whole novel. (Also hard to pick out a single sentence from each to "tweet" on Twitter!) I focused on scenes that strongly highlight the gay angle, since that is the focus of the blog. I’m also adding some links to woman-oriented images as appropriate in this Holy Week series.

Kittredge Cherry said...

In following up on the link that Ann posted this week about the book “Women of the Passion,” I came across more material of interest those seeking a female presence in Holy Week materials. Here's a creative way that one Utah church is focusing on women during Holy Week. I quote from a news report about it:

‘Using a text, "The Women of the Passion," by Texas journalist Katie Sherrod, seven women will portray the impact Jesus had on the lives of 13 of his female relatives, followers and friends as participants rotate through the sanctuary. Women will be seated in costume at each of the sanctuary's paintings of Christ's passion, as participants listen to the narrative at each stop along the journey.’

Here’s the whole story: