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The Stations of the Cross

Although not a very common tradition among Methodists, this year we decided to set up The Stations of the Cross and follow  eight steps along Jesus’ final journey to his death. We devoted the evening service on Palm/Passion Sunday to doing it and different members of the congregation used wonderful creativity to set up each station. At each stop along the way there was a visual display accompanied by scripture reading and a short meditation with response. This proved to be a wonderful start to Holy Week, bringing contemporary themes into an historical context, and reminding us once again of God’s amazing love.

What follows is a ‘virtual tour’ of our interpretation of the Stations:

1. Pilate condemns Jesus to die. (Matt 27:11-14, 24, 26b)

The crowd condemns Jesus; Pilate washes his hands; Jesus, the Lamb of God is whipped by the Roman soldiers.

 

2. Jesus accepts His cross. (Matthew 27:27-31)

As ‘King of the Jews’ Jesus instated a new kingdom – that of service and not power. The ‘cross’ at this station contains symbols of service.

 

3. Simon helps to carry His cross. (Mark 15:21)

Would we have been willing to help Jesus with His terrible burden? Are we willing to help others? Or do we even see the burdens they bear?

 

4. Jesus speaks to the women. (Luke 23:27-31)

The women are weeping at the sight of Jesus who stops to talk to them, telling them to weep for themselves and not for him. Are our hearts broken by our sin and do we weep for our repentance?
5. Jesus is stripped of His garments. (John 19:23-25a)
The ultimate humiliation – nakedness. Are we willing to serve others to this extent?
6. Jesus is nailed to the cross. (Mark 15:23-32)
Were you there when they crucified Him?
7. Jesus cares for His mother. (John 19:25b-27)
What must Mary be thinking as she stands before the cross? And even at this final hour you bind her and John together. Who have you given me to love and care for? Make me a conduit of your love, and not only to the lovable.
8. Jesus Dies (Mark 15:33-39)

“May you use this moment to teach us how to love you and to love others the way you have loved us. O Lord, we long for newness, for hope, for renewal, for life where there is now death.  Out of this darkness bring to us the light of a new dawn.  O Lord, have mercy on us. O Lord, hear our prayers. We hope in you and trust in your mercy. Amen”

 

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