We gather virtually these days,
with virtual palms and virtual cries of praise.
Virtual cloaks we scatter underfoot
to greet the Son of David whom we long to meet.
Six feet wide (at least) the Covid social distancing
that separates the would-be members of the crowd
as we avoid quite gathering to greet him
sanitised, clean-handed at the city gate.
But there is nothing virtual about the Prince of Peace,
subverting all our violent dreams of glory
with his choice of gentle cross-marked beast
to humbly carry him to Zion for the Feast.
Nothing virtual either in the bonds that link us all today
in honouring the ones who risk their lives to make us well;
in worrying for the elders home alone;
in understanding pressures hid behind closed doors.
Communion, then, is this: this web of praying, caring,
picking up the phone, dropping round some food,
sharing (at safe distance) smiles and tears,
this swopping words of hope for fears.
This is what we celebrate on Sundays in more normal times.
This is what our breaking bread and sharing cup proclaims:
that the Easter Lord still comes to share our little feast,
comes even through locked doors with words of peace.
© Rob Esdaile