The First Presbyterian Church in Trail is inviting families to see, hear, feel, and taste the true spirit of Easter.
Reverends Gavin and Meridyth Robertson have been working behind-the-scenes with their congregation this week, setting up an Easter event called the Road to Resurrection, which begins tonight.
“There will be ‘tour guide’ that will take them to five stations,” explained Reverend Meridyth. “First is the Triumphal entry which represents Palm Sunday and then they’ll tiptoe to an upper room and taste a Passover meal.”
Celery will be dipped into salty water to represent tears the Jewish people shed in Egypt; horseradish will be passed around, the smell is a reminder of the bitterness Jewish people felt as slaves in Egypt; and haroset, a traditional Passover dish, will provide a visual representation of the mortar Jewish people used to construct buildings in Egypt. There are many other sensory symbols that will be part of the “Road,” but Reverend Meridyth is keeping those under wraps until the night of the event.
From the Passover Station, guests will be lead to “Prison” to visit Barabbas in his jail cell. In the Bible, Barrabus is a criminal who was set free and replaced with Jesus. The fourth station is called the “Joyful Road.” Guests will hear the remorseful words of a Roman soldier, a role that will be filled, in costume, by Reverend Gavin. The final stop is a roadside diner, which symbolizes the hillside outside Jerusalem where Jesus rose from the dead.
Reverend Meridyth will attend to the final station in the role of “Cleopus.” According to the Gospel of Luke, Cleopus was one of the two disciples who encountered Jesus during the Road to Emmaus.
“When they (disciples) break bread with him, they realize this is Jesus,” she said. “And Cleopus comes out and tells everyone that Jesus has risen.”
The Road to Resurrection lasts much longer than a basket of chocolate, and is meant to draw families back to church and closer together.
Reverend Meridyth says teaching scripture through an interactive experience is especially valuable, because Easter, the most significant event in the Christian year, doesn’t receive the same attention as Christmas.
“Because it is a month long, we always find that people are exposed to both the secular aspect of Christmas and the religious aspect of Christmas,” she shared. “There isn’t a season in the store for Easter and there is no song to make us think about Easter, other than, ‘Here comes Peter Cottontail.’”
Kids get chocolate, chocolate, chocolate, and egg hunts because that’s what is seen in stores, the Reverend added.
“So when we talked about this, we wanted to do something for Easter because we want kids and families to realize that this is what Easter is all about. As the stations go in the Road to Resurrection, it’s really (representing) that last week of Jesus’ death.”
The community is invited to drop into the Pine Avenue church Thursday and Friday night from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
“Every 15 minutes there will be a tour,” she said. “And it takes about an hour to go through the stations.”
Reverend Meridyth Robertson
Since arriving in Trail in 1996, Reverends Gavin and Meridyth Robertson have ministered to the congregation of First Presbyterian Church as well as the community at large. Reverend Gavin is the Padre for the 39th Combat Engineer Regiment and Reverend Meridyth is a volunteer chaplain for Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital, and Padre for the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #11.