Historical setting: A dark age in Gaul
The wait is long. I remember in glimpses. We are pouring the wine – there is plenty yet we share. We are passing the wine and the bread. We have songs – the old psalms – the running over cup – the table spread before our enemies. Some are missing from the table. We have new songs and a shared grief for the earth things. There is no sign or sense of it at all except that there must be some sort of an earthy truth in it. The game they play by people’s rules of might and power are easily won by emperors and Roman political appointees guised in the robes of Chief Priest. They make the rules. They would write the rules and the story if writing were needed. They play for blood. They win.
Jesus my dear friend, I can’t even remember that imperial name now — the one who ordered a tree to be cut and pounded full of iron nails. Maybe it is Clovis or Chilperic or Pilate or Sigibert by now. They look to your Kingdom for the omen of winning wars.
I hear the jingling of the Roman chain-mail and the rustling of leathers at the knees of the soldiers…
“See, there is a man here, through the wood over there and nearer the road. We suppose he was robbed and beaten. Except for his wound he would seem an able rower.”
“He was flailing and talking for a moment. I think he was saying he is a loyal Roman.”
No! How can Jesus think I would be Roman?
“You don’t remember me now Jesus? Remember me? I’m your friend, brother to Martha, son of Simon?”
“See what I mean? He speaks only of Jesus but offers us no words of Creed, no prayer of Trinity, no sign of Cross, so I’m not sure of his loyalty. He may be a heretic.”
“David, you go back to the ship and bring some medical wraps. And Nik, you stay here. Right now it doesn’t matter his loyalties. We will see to his wounds and if he heals to wellness we can consider his purpose for us then.”
He spreads over me his cloak. He is surely the saint.
(Continues tomorrow briefly, and oddly for Good Friday.)