Last night, on Good Friday, in a dimly lit room with quiet ambient music playing 23 of us gathered to reflect and remember.
We spent an hour wandering between six stations, in no set order, experiencing as individuals, but also as a gathering, the last day of Jesus' life.
We held tightly to small loops of barbed wire, and thanked him for taking on the thorns for us, and for taking on the thorns in our life.We drove 16D nails and landscaping spikes into redwood timbers, feeling with our own bodies what it was like to drive the nails into his hands and feet, reflecting on our own sin being driven into him.We dipped Q-Tips into vinegar and placed these on our tongues, tasting the bittterness He tasted, and prayed for forgiveness and protection from bitterness in our hearts.We threw dice against a rough muslin cloth, considering the triviality of the distractions in our life as we remembered the soldiers' disregard for the death next to them of the Son of God, intent as they were on the wagers of their own.We dipped our fingers into red paint and touched a set of poster-boards taped together; the many becoming one. Some wrote their names, others left blood-like prints of their own hands. Together we created a collage of pain and grief; relief, joy & freedom.We pictured the earthquake, and the darkened sky. We imagined the confusion and tumult as the world turned upside-down. We marvelled at His desire for closeness with us, and tore small patches of cloth as we thought of the torn veil, ushering in a new availability between God and man.As the hour passed, and all had reflected on the stations, small tea-candles were handed out and we gathered together in the center of the room around a small table. With the lights dimmed further, we took a single white candle and from it lit others -- each of us symbolizing the light spreading outward from The Light. The background music faded out and we stood silently in the dark/light. When all the candles were lit, we sang a song about The Light, and one about His Love.Next, as prayers of thanksgiving were offered for His sacrificial gift, one by one the candles were blown out. When all but the last was darkened, we sang a song of thankfulness for His faithfulness. Then, we remembered all the pain He endured on His journey. The betrayal and arrest, abuse and scorn, labor and crucifixion. The abandonment by friends and by His Father. We blew out the last candle and together stood and knelt in the darkness of His passing. Even in the dark we thanked Him for His faithfulness when we are in the valley of the shadow of death.We brought the lights back up some, and allowed the background music to play once more. Some left, some stayed. Some continued through the stations to pause one last time.
The two hours we spent together were sacred and profound, and His presence and love were deeply felt by all.
Grid::Blog::Via Crucis 2007
After participating in these stations, I went to type up my thoughts, so I could remember them if I ever wanted to set it up myself somewhere. Then I thought, "Keith is the type of guy who would put this on his blog". And I was right! Thanks for the resource. And the evening was very meaningful. Thank you.
Speaking of resources, I should give credit where credit is due. Cathy & I did not come up with these stations -- we were inspired by some friends who did it before. They gave us their resources, and we took it from there.
It is called Jesus' Passion -- Creative Prayer Stations and is produced by Group Publishing. You can order it from their online store.
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