Stations of the Cross as a Lenten observe
Arguably, one of many best and holiest days for these within the Christian religion is Easter. In sacramental traditions, the longer identify for this holy day is the Feast of the Resurrection of Our Lord. Proper now, although, we discover ourselves in the midst of Lent, and whereas not each Christian custom practices Lent, it’s an historic and holy a part of Easter. Traditionally, people who needed to be baptized spent Lent making ready their hearts and minds for the work of changing into a Christian. Lent requested them to orient the entire of their lives to what baptism actually means, and the way it isn’t a easy job, however one which modifications who we’re on the core. After the 40-day journey of Lent, we stroll the ultimate path to the cross with the Christ for Holy Week, the week earlier than Easter, which occurs the primary full week of April this yr.
Many church buildings nonetheless observe Lent. It’s a time of intentional piety and prayer; it’s a time of reorienting ourselves again to the muse of our baptism, to let the pull of the tempo of the world fall away. In Lent, we take away or abstain from issues that draw us away from who we all know we need to be, and that is important; I’ve discovered private pleasure in giving up social media, video streaming, or extra spending throughout Lent – these are the types of practices that, whereas not inherently dangerous or good, can occupy extra of my life than I actually need. I’ve additionally discovered pleasure in including a day by day gratitude observe, praying the rosary, or committing to 10 minutes of meditation day-after-day of Lent; whereas these practices add to our day by day rhythms relatively than subtract, they assist remind us of the grounded-ness we are able to discover in our religion. As a result of Lent isn’t about shaming ourselves into faithfulness, it’s a 40-day alternative to recollect who we’re as we decide to residing our lives of religion deliberately.
In our church, we now have 14 wooden cuttings that depict Christ’s remaining journey to the cross, and these correspond to what’s referred to as the Stations of the Cross. Each Monday throughout Lent, we pray the Stations of the Cross at midday, and at every picture we cease, we pray, and we replicate on Christ’s stroll to the cross. We keep in mind how Jesus was condemned to demise, how the ladies of Jerusalem wept over Jesus, how Christ was nailed to the cross, his remaining phrases, and the way his physique was taken down from the cross and put into the tomb. The station that I join most with is station 13, the place Jesus’s physique is positioned within the arms of his mom. On this picture, there’s a humanness that I can’t deny, and it jogs my memory each of the delicate nature of Jesus’ physique, though he was God, and of the tenderness with which the Blessed Virgin, the bearer of God, holds her son.
The Stations of the Cross invite us to remain in Lent, to do not forget that Christ was not solely crucified as a result of it was at all times presupposed to be this manner. No, relatively, Christ was crucified as a result of he preached radical acceptance and love; Christ was murdered by the hands of the federal government as a result of his life and work challenged the authority of these in energy. After we sit with the truth of the best way of the cross, we can’t be unchanged by not simply Christ’s resurrection, but additionally the entire of Christ’s life and positively the best way through which his demise performed out. That is an uncomfortable fact, and the Stations of the Cross invite us to acknowledge the demise upon the cross earlier than we are able to have fun the resurrection of our Savior.
Praying the Stations of the Cross is a meditative, prayerful, and communal behavior, and I invite you to hitch our parish on this Lenten observe. There isn’t a proper or incorrect approach to present up, however in case you are in search of a observe that can floor you in prayer with different Christians, then the observe of praying the Stations of the Cross is likely to be a very good match. We’d like to have anybody be part of us for this prayer time on Mondays in March at midday at Christ Episcopal Church in Downtown Bowling Inexperienced.
-by The Very Rev. Becca Kello
Dean, 4 Rivers Deanery
Chair, Fee on Ministry
Affiliate Rector and Chaplain to the Episcopal Campus Ministry at WKU