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)
“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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