The original ending to Mark’s Gospel (Mark 16:8) ends not with an appearance by the risen Christ, but a rumour of his travelling on up the road to Galilee. The disciples are to follow and trust that they’ll meet him along the way.
In this way of prayer, we are trying to create a space to name the ‘here but not here’ dimension of the risen Christ in our lives, which Mark’s original ending expresses so beautifully.
Take the large piece of paper and draw an outline of a figure. If you’re arty, you can surround the figure with light colours, but leave the centre empty. We are creating a ‘Jesus shaped gap.’ Now cover the paper with all the items you have collected, until it is completely obscured.
Invite the congregation to come forward and move an item from the paper and place it at the edge of the drawn figure. As more and more people participate, Christ will be revealed in the midst of the every day.
To give shape to this time, you might like to place these words on the screen, for people to pray as they uncover Christ, and perhaps to pray again as a group at the end:
He is here but not here
He is with us but beyond us
He is farther on, calling us to follow
During this time, you might ask people to reflect on how Christ might be calling them onward, that the seeming absence of Christ in their lives may in fact be an invitation to join Christ ‘farther up the road.’