C2W (Call 2 Worship) Nina Simone’s ‘Why? -The King of Love is Dead’
For Easter 2 we commenced our service, not with resurrection celebration, but by comparing the heartfelt cry of Nina Simone’s
“What will happen now that the King of Love is dead?”
on this day forty five years ago, three days after the assassination of Baptist preacher, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, with the cry of the women on the way to the’ tomb, three days after the death of Jesus,
“Who will roll away the Stone?” (Mark 16:3 )
We watched the video of her performing this song for the first time during the Westbury Music Fair on April 7th, 1968. The song was written by her bassist Gene Taylor upon learning of the death of Dr. King on April 4th.
You can listen to the full 12 minute version including extended commentary from Nina Simone capturing the emotion and power of that moment.
PoC (Prayer of Confession)
The Disciples Flee: A responsive reading based on Mark 14.51-52
(used previously for our Maundy Thursday, Tenebrae Liturgy)
Leader: (picking up the white garment)
A young man, wearing nothing but a linen garment, was following Jesus.
When they seized him, he fled naked, leaving his garment behind. (Disciple drops garment)
Disciple 1: (picking up the white garment)
The white linen, robe was the garment of an Israelite priest. Moses called for all Israelites to be priests to the Lord (Exod. 19:6), a calling reiterated by the apostle Paul for followers of Jesus (1 Pet. 2:9; Rev. 5:10).
We are called to put on Christ, to be priests, mediators between God and a broken world.
All: but we have left the garment and run off naked (Disciple drops garment)
Disciple 2: (picking up the white garment) In the Apocalypse of John, those who have died for the sake of the gospel of love are given a white robe, and are told to wait a little longer, until the number of the brothers and sisters who are to be killed as they have been is complete. (Revelation 6:11)
We are called to put on Christ, to join with this cloud of witnesses, to put our bodies on the line and follow the way of the cross in a violent world.
All :But we have left the garment and run off naked (Disciple drops garment)
Disciple 3: (picking up the white garment) The Apostle Paul states “For as many of you as have been baptised in Christ, have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:26-27).
In the tradition of Christ’s followers the initiation of new believers happens at Easter. Having passed through the waters of baptism the priest places the white “baptisimal alb” upon the disciple as an outward sign of their dignity as a new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).
We are called to put on Christ and live in the light out our baptism
All: but we have left the garment and run off naked. (Disciple drops garment)
MoW (Ministry of the Word)
The absolution came in the sermon from Barry Watson who preached on the three different ending’s of Mark’s story where the mourning women are met by a man clothed in a white garment (a re-clothing of the discipleship narrative from the arrest scene in Chapter 14). The man graciously invites them to recommence to story where it began, with Jesus in Galilee, with special mention given to Peter, the denier.