Saturday, 4 April 2015

The Way of the Cross

At the beginning of the year members of my church were invited to create a 'station' using The Way of the Cross material from Common Worship (scroll down to Pages 238 - 254 see the readings and prayers).

Over the weeks there were some very interesting conversations, as people pondered on their verses and allowed God to speak to them.

Station 1 
Jesus in agony in the Garden of Gethsemane 
Mark 14:32 -36

I love the darkness gathering, and the light shining from heaven - an amazingly powerful picture.

Station 2
Jesus betrayed by Judas and arrested
Mark 14:43-46

The ultimate betrayal, delivered with a kiss.
People working together,  but really for their own agenda.

Station 3
Jesus is condemned by the Sanhedrin
Mark 14: 55 - 64
This station also gave folks the opportunity to tie a heart on to 'prison bars' (borrowed from the Open the Book props) as an outward symbol of prayer for this imprisoned without a fair trial.  
There was a also a candle, surrounded by barbed wire, kindly donated by one of my internet buddies :)

Station 4
Peter denies Jesus
Mark 14:72
This station also prompted us to reflect on the times when we have lacked the courage to speak and, to drop 3 glass nuggets into a bowl of water and to ask God to give us the confidence to speak out.

Station 5
Jesus is judged by Pilate
Mark 15:14-15

A member of the church produced this amazing comic book style poster.  I also really like the way the sections are arranged :)

Station 6
Jesus is scourged and crowned with thorns
Mark 15:17-19

One of the church members welded some heavy chain in a circle, and added 33 sharpened nails - one for each year of Jesus' life.

If I was allowed a favourite this would be it!  Rust and metal reflecting the true brutality  and suffering of the crucifixion.

Station 7
Jesus carries the cross
Mark 15:20

This was a wonderful mixture of pictures to make us think as well as symbols - the crown, the purple robe cast aside, with a chance to pin our personal responses.

Station 8
Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry his cross
Mark 15:21

Photo shop transformed a photo of two of the church youth group leaders carry a broom, and merged in one of the crosses drawn by one of the youngsters and somehow produced this amazing and very powerful image as the centrepiece of this station
Station 9
Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem
Luke 23:27-31

These verses were not familiar to all, and some folks found them rather challenging.

I love the way the teardrops are echoed from the picture with the prayer, continuing the theme of sorrow.

Station 10
Jesus is Crucified
Mark 15:24

This beautiful piece of art was accompanied by the opportunity to consider our own sinful nature and to hammer nails into a large cross that lay on the floor, as an acceptance of our forgiveness.

It was very moving to hear the periodic hammering of nails into wood, as people chose to engage with this station.

Section 11
Jesus promises the kingdom to the penitent thief
Luke 23:39-43

The KHT's own personal interpretation of this scene - cartoon style of course.

Station 12
Jesus on the cross; his mother and his friend
John 19:26-27

Two incredible images made up this station - beautiful encapsulating the dual role and agony of Mary seeing her saviour and the son she bore upon the cross.

Station 13
Jesus dies on the cross
Mark 15:34-37

This station was brilliant -  the world, the vinegar, the sponge on a stick - so many elements, so much symbolism.
It could have been quite bleak, but it wasn't, and that was quite moving.

Station 14
Jesus is laid in the tomb
Mark 15:46

The young people in our church are partnered with an elder prayer partner.  This garden was made at a craft activity session with Prayer Partners.  The attention to detail is amazing - 3 crosses, one with a tiny crown of thorns and of course, the stone, which was moved to block the entrance to the 'tomb' at the service on Good Friday morning.

Station 15
Jesus is risen from the dead 
Mark 16:4-8

Alas, it appears this post won't allow any more pictures to be loaded!
Perhaps it is fitting that we wait until Easter day to see the final station.

During the week we had nearly 100 visits, some were repeats, as people returned to spend time reflecting on Holy Week.

A huge 'thank you' to this who stepped out in faith, a went on a journey of discovery to produce each station, and to those who came and went on their own journey of reflection around the stations.

In the Midlands Good friday is often a working day, and it is easy to end up at Easter Day without having journeyed through Holy Week, and they found it really helpful to have the opportunity to come and reflect on ' The Way of The Cross.