Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Stations

On Good Friday our youth and I set up a Stations of the Cross experience for our congregation. We used Tony Jones's* book Soul Shaper for the prayers and added an interactive element to each station. Some of the the elements encouraged thoughtful reflection on Christ, others on His suffering, still others on the suffering of others and our role in helping to alleviate that suffering. Having walked the stations many times growing up, I was hopeful that this would be a moving experience for our friends and one that would help deepen our collective celebration of Christ's resurrection. Later, reflecting on the night, I realized what a forming effect the stations had on me as a young boy.

This idea of setting up the stations was one the fermented for about two years. I had been aware that more Protestants were re-embracing the stations, but it wasn't until I was at a youth event for our denomination that I felt I had permission to do the stations. We were led through the stations by a distinguished seminary prof. and denominational leader. Later that year, I set up a much smaller version of the stations and led my senior high group through them. It was there that the idea of really doing this took off. And it came off even better than I hoped it would.

For example, one elderly lady thanked me for setting up the stations and commented, "I haven't felt like this in I don't know how long...probably not since I was first saved. I just came from the ladies room where I had a good cry and I feel like such a burden has been lifted. I'm ready for Easter now!" Others commented on how powerful an experience it was for them and I received some emails as well. I'm thankful for the opportunity to have done this and to have contributed to the Lenten journey of many in this way. It was quite a privilege. I think when all is said and done, this will rank up there amongst my favorite moments in ministry.


*On Tony's blog he once gave a lesson on using apostrophes. For modern names that end in s, you add another s after the apostrophe to indicate possession. Go figure...


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