Mrs. McCorkindale had much to say about many things that happened on the street. She never, however, commented much on the drinking that took place among the men at the Pub or, at some level, during their working hours. Similarly, she never commented on the alcohol consumed by the women in secret in the kitchen or on the weekends. This led to many to ask the question as to whether they had seen Mrs.McCorkindale ever having a drink or not. Some had said “och aye” we had seen her before having a “hawf” Others would say: “no, she would not allow the stuff to touch her lips”. In a culture where many sought solace in a bottle, there was much to be said about what Mrs. McCorrkindale thought about drinking.
Mrs. McCorkindale remained silent on the subject of alcohol. However, she had much to say about the structures and institutions that took the heart from men and women. She had a great deal to say about the industry and commerce that treated people as commodities to be used when times were good and to be called “surplus to needs” when things got bad. When Mrs. McCorkindale helped Joe McCluskey home to his house from the Pub in the wee hours of the morning, she did it with a care and compassion that would touch the hardest of hearts. When she went to visit Jeanie McDuff at home and cared for her weans as she nursed Jeanie back from an alcohol-induced stupor, she did so with a gentleness and love that was beyond human imagination. However, when Mrs. McCorkindale spoke of the injustices in society that took the hearts from men and women, she did so with an indignation that would make industry and banks shake to their core.
How are we part of an injustice system? In what ways do we, as the church or as individuals, perpetuate unjust systems and structures within our society. When shall we speak out?
It was a typical Sunday morning in Glasgow. The weather was cloudy with light rain. As the parade wound its way down the street through Mrs. McCorkindale’s neighbourhood, it began to draw quite a large crowd. Mrs. McCorkindale watched from the side of the road as the folk passed along the route. In the parade there were clowns, Goths and giant puppets, left wing politicians and union leaders, older couples who looked like they were veteran protestors, representation from various church groups, and children and babes in prams. As the group chanted its way down the street, Mrs. McCorkindale wondered if there might be another way for this group to bring change in their world. Some of the protestors looked as if they were there for a day at the beach while, on the faces of others, there was a deep indignation. Mrs. McCorkindale had a profound compassion on them all. She knew that they all had a real desire to make the world a better place, to save it from self-destruction.
As the parade made its way through the neighbourhood, folk on the side of the street –young and old - looked to each other with nods of agreement. They believed that those in the parade had something important to say. Some even joined in the parade and walked all the way to George Square to hear the speakers. Others, however, jumped in their cars or on the bus and went straight to the parade’s end. In George’s Square there were vendors with food, T-shirts, flags and balloons. As the parade move into the square, the police presence was noticeable on the edges of the parade. Some of the people stayed to listen to the events when other went to the shops. Mrs. McCorkindale couldn’t help but wonder how many would continue to live a life committed to changing the world. After the parade was over, would they go back to living their lives unaffected by the events of this day?
We begin today the journey of Holy Week with a parade – a parade that will take us through the events of the last supper Jesus had with his friends (Maundy Thursday). We walk by the cruel death of Jesus on a Roman Cross (Good Friday) We wait in prayer and remembrance on Holy Saturday (Easter Vigil) and we gather on the Sunday to celebrate the mighty acts of God as sin and death are defeated in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. What will your commitment be to the journey from the palms to the empty tomb? Will you journey the easy way or will you have the courage to journey the whole route? Will you have the commitment to every stage on the journey? Each step in the journey is important because it offers to us an opportunity for transformation. Will you allow yourself to be transformed by this parade of Holy Week?