By Pastor Tracey Leslie
This year during Lent, our sanctuary will be decorated with art that reflects the Protestant Stations of the Cross. (The Protestant Stations differ from the Catholic Stations in that they represent only those scenes substantiated by the gospels.)
Each Sunday throughout Lent, we’ll focus on one station and a gospel story that corresponds with that station’s theme. For example, on the first Sunday, we’ll view the station of the Last Supper and consider Jesus’ Parable of the Great Dinner found in Luke, chapter 14. Both stories share a common theme of Jesus opening up his table and inviting us to dine with him.
I’m excited about this sermon series and the art that will accompany it. All pieces will be original works created by local artists in a variety of mediums. On Sunday, March 11, at 2:00 p.m. we will open our sanctuary to the community to view the art. A concert and readings will be presented at 2:30 p.m.
Following the program, refreshments will be served and those in attendance will have an opportunity to bid on the works of art. However, the art will remain in our sanctuary until Easter. On Good Friday, March 30, our 6:00 p.m. worship service will move us from station to station throughout the sanctuary as we hear the story of our Lord’s Passion and see it reflected in the artwork.
Eight Protestant Stations of the Cross and Weekly Themes
Station 1: The Last Supper (Jesus and his disciples gathered around the table), Luke 22:14-20 and Luke 14:12-24, Theme: Jesus opens his table to everyone (the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame).
Station 2: The Garden of Gethsemane (Jesus challenges the disciples to stay away and pray so they can overcome the trial they are about to undergo), Matthew 26:47-56 and John 8:1-11, Theme: Prayer helps us confront the evil of this world and the temptations with which we struggle.
Station 3: The arrest of Jesus (when the soldiers arrive for Jesus, one of his disciples draws a sword and cuts of a slave’s ear. Jesus rebukes his act of violence.), Matthew 26:47-56and John 8:1-11, Theme: Violence only begets more violence; the gospel proclaims restorative justice, not retributive justice.
Station 4: Jesus before Pilate (Pilate questions Jesus and challenges him with the charges of treason and insurrection), Luke 23:1-5 and Luke 20:20-26, Theme: What do we do when religion and politics collide and how can the church avoid succumbing to cultural pressures.
Station 5: The Scourging and the crowning with thorns (Jesus is beaten and mocked when they twist thorns into the shape of a crown and press it onto his head), Mark 15:15-20and Mark 8:31-38, Theme: To follow Jesus means we aren’t motivated by power and fearful self-preservation; we are willing to surrender our rights for the good of others.
Station 6: Simon of Cyrene Helps Jesus (The soldiers force some guy walking down the road to carry Jesus’ cross piece to Golgotha for him), Mark 15:21 and Mark 14:3-9, Theme: In life, compassion and sorrow often go hand in hand; happily ever after is just for fairy tales.
Station 7: The Death of Jesus, Mark 15:33-39.
Station 8: The Resurrection, Matthew 28:1-7.
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