The Sum of All Five Senses: A Meditation for Monday of Holy Week

The Very Rev. Dr. John Chalmers

26 March 2018

The Sum of All Five Senses: A Meditation for Monday of Holy Week

Try experiencing this Holy Week with all five of your senses...

See it.

  • the palm branches waving
  • the moneychangers wheeling and dealing
  • the upper room,
  • the mockery of a trial
  • the stations of the cross and Calvary itself

Smell it.

  • the burning flesh of the sacrifices offered in the Temple
  • the animals being traded in the forecourt
  • the spiced breath of the traders
  • the body odour of the travellers
  • the scent of Gethsemane
  • the air as the sky darkens around three crosses on a hillside

Touch it.

  • being jostled in a crowd
  • counting silver coins to pay a traitor
  • carrying a wooden gibbet on a weary shoulder

Hear it.

  • the adulation of Palm Sunday
  • the traders bartering for the best deal
  • the crashing of tables and of money spilling down the steps
  • the hostile cries of Crucify Him

Taste it.

  • lamb and bitter herbs for a Passover
  • bread and wine for a memorial
  • vinegar offered to a dying man

It is the sum of all five senses which confirms in our sixth sense that we are loved by God made known in Christ.

©The Very Rev Dr John Chalmers is a former Principal Clerk and Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland

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This meditation was also published in the April 2018 edition of Life and Work, the magazine of the Church of Scotland.