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More or Less Church

Joanna Depue "DJ/Deacon J" writes original songs and liturgies, does daily Farm office work and records Barbara's eMos on The Geranium Farm. A singer and dog trainer she utilizes healing touch in her private massage practice. PLEASE share YOUR original ideas for worship, special liturgies, prayers, songs, sermons and noteworthy blogs right here.
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Friday, April 02, 2010

Of Good Friday

My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?
The Rev. Dr. Barbara Brown Taylor
Butman Professor of Religion and Philosophy
Piedmont College, Demorest, Georgia

Today is the quietest day of the church year. On no other day do we sit together for so long with so little to say to one another, like family members gathered around the bed of the Beloved, who is dying. Hour after hour, we just sit here, with sounds no larger than a cough or a dropped book echoing through all this air. There is the sound of feet too--shoe heels on stone--as people come to pay their respects and go. Even the occasional siren has its place. It is the sound some of us would make with our own mouths, if we ever began to let our sorrow come out--not only our sorrow for him, the Beloved, but also our sorrow for ourselves and for the whole broken, bleeding world. Who named this Friday "Good"?

Instead of wailing, we will sing some songs, say a few prayers. We are adults, after all, and this is a public place. Plus, we need the ballast of sound to keep us sitting upright in our seats. We need spoken attempts at meaning--however futile--to keep our anxiety at bay. But it is the silence we are really here for--that, and the story.

The Bible contains not one but four accounts of Jesus' death. They agree on the essentials: Jesus died on a cross at a place called Golgotha, hung up between two other men with a sign above his head. "King of the Jews," it said. The charge was treason against the Empire. The method of execution was Roman. People were so sure he was not coming down that they divided up his clothes where he could see them. He was offered some sour wine before he died and then he died, just before sundown on the day before the sabbath.

Those are the bones of the story, which each gospel writer fills out in a different way. Matthew and Mark's accounts are almost identical, except for a few differences in phrasing. Their Jesus is a broken man, who is so injured in every way that he needs help carrying his cross and whose only word from the cross is a cry of abandonment at the end.

In Luke's gospel, Jesus has more to say. Luke adds a word of pardon from the cross--"Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing"--as well as a conversation between Jesus and the two men dying with him that the other gospel writers do not mention. When Jesus dies, he does not ask where God has gone. Instead, he uses his last few breaths to commend his spirit to God. Luke's Jesus is as gentle and forgiving in death as he was all his life.

In John's gospel, however, Jesus is neither broken nor particularly gentle. He is brave, omniscient, and in charge all the way. John does not say anything about Simon of Cyrene carrying Jesus' cross for him. Jesus is strong enough to do that for himself. Nor does John allow anyone to mock Jesus while he dies. Even on the cross, Jesus is in charge. He arranges for his mother's care, says he is thirsty (in order to fulfill the scriptures), and when he dies there is no question about where God is. God is on the cross, pronouncing that "It is finished."

While all four of these accounts report the same event, they are not easily harmonized. They are four alternative readings of that event, so different from one another and yet so faithfully told that the editors of the New Testament decided that none of them could be left out. By including all four, those early shapers of the gospel sent us a message between the lines: namely, that there is more than one way to view what happened on the cross, and all of them are right.

Even if they do not agree on everything-not even something as important as Jesus' last words--their very disagreement preserves the mystery of what happened on this day. There is no one definitive word. There is no one answer to the awful questions raised by this day--chief among which is why God allows the innocent to suffer. In the case of Jesus, we are asked to believe that God not only allowed the suffering but willed the tortured, humiliating death of the Beloved.

You have heard the same explanations I have heard. Before Jesus, sinful humanity was so deep in debt to God that no human being could pay it all. So God sent Jesus to die for our sins, erasing the debt once and for all. This is the most traditional view of the cross, but it does not answer the question of suffering. What kind of father demands the death of a son in order to pay off a debt to himself?

According to another view, it was God who died on the cross, putting an end to divine bookkeeping through the voluntary sacrifice of divine power. But if Jesus was God, then whom was he talking to in the garden and from the cross? He clearly believed that someone else had the power to remove the cup of suffering from him, or at least to be with him while he drank it down--but who, in both cases, declined to do so.

I don't pretend to understand any of it. Sometimes I think that the suffering of Jesus was not God's will at all. It was, instead, the will of those who were arrayed against him--those whose patriotic values he had offended, whose sense of God he had betrayed. It was the will of ordinary people like you and me, who prefer dead messiahs to living ones, since living ones are so much harder to tame.

It seems entirely possible to me that God's will for Jesus was a long and fruitful life, brimming over with the divine justice and love he was born to embody. When the world opposed that justice, however--when the world reviled that love--God's will did not give Jesus license to stop being Jesus. God's will supported him to go on doing justice and loving mercy even in the face of deadly opposition. So in that sense, I suppose, it was God's will that Jesus suffer and die--since suffering and death turned out to be the unavoidable consequences of being who he was. It was God's will for Jesus to be fully who he was every day of his life--even if the fullness of that life shortened the length of it.

But if that was the case, then where was God at the end? According to at least two gospels. Jesus believed himself forsaken by heaven as well as earth. Couldn't God have spared one angel there at the end? Couldn't God have whispered one comforting word in Jesus' ear, just to help him get through the last few awful, parched hours? It happened at his baptism in the river Jordan. It happened on the Mount of the Transfiguration with Peter, James and John. "This is my son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased." Where was that same voice at the end, when the Beloved was panting his last few breaths? What difference might a word have made?

But there was no word, except Jesus' own. "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" It was a quiet day for him too--the quietest day of his whole life, when he asked for bread and got a stone. Whatever else it was, it was the death of hope--that God might intervene, might stop the suffering, might at least say a word that would make the suffering bearable. None of that happened. God was, for all practical purposes, gone--and yet Jesus died seeking God. He died talking to the Abba who would not talk back to him, giving us the stripped down vision of faith that remains at the heart of our tradition.

When all of our own hopes have died, we still have this faith that seeks nothing for itself--not wisdom, not spiritual power, not rescue from suffering. "Success" is not in its vocabulary. This faith seeks nothing but God, to whom it is willing to surrender everything--up to and including its own cherished beliefs about who God is and how God should act. This faith is willing to sell all that it owns and bet the farm on one chance for union with God. If God plays hard to get, then this faith will never stop its wooing.

Purged of all illusion, weaned from everything that is not God, this relentless faith will devote itself to doing justice and loving mercy no matter what the consequences are, and if the consequences turn out to be a cross, then this faith will hang there for however long is necessary, asking God to be present, asking God to speak, regardless of whether or not God chooses to answer. This kind of faith, embodied by Jesus, is what makes him the Christ--God's own Being of Light, God's own Anointed One--whose self-annihilating love for us and for all creation is never more vivid than it is on this day.

I actually know people who come to church on Good Friday and who don't come back on Easter. Easter is too pretty, they say. Easter is too cleaned-up. It is where they hope to live one day, in the land of milk and honey, but right now Good Friday is a better match for their souls, with its ruthless truth about the stench of death and the high price of love. It isn't that they don't care about what happens on Sunday. They do. They just don't believe that God is saving all the good news until then.

Today, on the quietest day of the year, we have come to sit in the presence of one who was fully who God created him to be every day of his life--who loved God with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his strength, and with all his mind--and who loved his friends so much that he stepped into the oncoming traffic of death in order to push them out of the way. He furthermore did it all with no more than the basic human equipment--a beating heart, two good hands, a holy vision, and some companions who could see it too--thereby showing the rest of us humans that such a life is not beyond our reach. Whatever else happens on Sunday, here is enough reason to call this Friday Good. Amen.

Copyright ©2000 Barbara Brown Taylor

This homily was delivered at the Lenten Noonday Preaching Series at Calvary Episcopal Church, Memphis, Tennessee, on April 21, 2000.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Stations of the Cross, Adult Version

This version of the traditional Stations of the Cross was written on April 2, 2009 and is dedicated to The Geranium Farm and the EFM group meeting at St. George's Episcopal Church in Newburgh, NY.

Because this version the 'Stations' is graphic and raw in nature it would best be suited to an adult group. If this piece if used, kindly include the simple attribution at the bottom of this page.

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[Leader: begin with these simple instructions, then pause before you (or someone appointed) begins with the collect.]

We will pause after the reading at each station. In moving from one station to the next we will repeat (or sing) quietly ‘Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy Immortal One have mercy upon us’. After the last station let us return to our seats for silence and reflection, followed by the closing prayer.

Collect: As we enter into a meditation of the passion of Jesus, the Christ, may we also look within and bring ourselves into the mystery of unconditional Love. Let us hold gently our faults and sins as we tune our hearts to the One who gave all and was without sin.

I. Jesus is condemned to death [Pontius Pilate]
YE GODS!!! Why not add insult to injury! My colleagues are posted in Gaul, Rome. I’m in the middle of Jerusalem with people who think less of us than we of them. And they send me a seer, a miracle man to kill. Dirty work must be done and Herod is not man enough to take responsibility … just as weak as his father before him – maybe more! I see nothing dangerous about this Jew. Granted, he has a mind. But Rome must be master and Rome must rule. I don’t know whether this Jesus is brilliant or a fool. Either way, he is dead as of today.

II. Jesus takes up his cross [Crucifixion Detail Officer]
Move the prisoner out of the Praetorium! Poke him! Push it! Take it down through the holding quarters out the back. Throw something across the prisoner’s shoulders or it won’t be able to carry the wood. You there! Wipe up the piss and blood from the floor – I don’t want to see a trace of it left! I command for Caesar. Marius – wrap a rope around this dog and the plank. Heave to, dead man. Walk until we tell you to stop.

III. Jesus falls for the first time [Crucifixion Detail soldier]
Stand up! [snap of whip] Get up! If you’re a man, GET UP!!! Take what little pride you can and walk to your death as a man. Are you so weak? Call upon the gods to give you strength! None of us is going to be your slave.

IV. Jesus meets his mother [Mary]
Oh, my son, my life! Before you were born I was told this day would come and I prayed He would be merciful. [pause. Shouting to guards] Wipe his eyes! He can’t see for the sweat and blood!!! Stone me, let him go! [pause. Eye to eye with her Son]. I know. I said yes and you are saying yes. I’m with you, my beloved. I am with you … I’ll walk with you … you won’t be alone …

V. The cross is laid on Simon of Cyrene [Simon]
Me? You want me? What did I do? Alright, alright! [pushes into Jesus, nearly knocking him over] Oh … you reek! This wood is revolting! [whip cAlright, just kneel down and tip it … tip it. I’ve got it now. Made to carry a plank for a criminal! [Jesus looks up] You?!? The one the High priests and scribes shouted to have killed? Do you curse me? [pause] I see Caiaphas’ men over there. They won’t forget my face even after I’ve gone back home. Keep moving or they’ll only whip you more! [Pause] What? You bless me?? Save your breath, prophet. There is still road ahead.

VI. A woman wipes the face of Jesus [“Veronica”]
I beg you, let me through! Rabbi, Rabbi have pity on me! Your mother asked me to open your eyes … I’m not worthy, but she asked me to use the oil she brought for your wounds. DON’T PUSH ME AWAY – HE CAN’T SEE! HE CAN’T SEE!! YOU WANT HIM TO DRAG THAT POLE AND HE CAN’T SEE!!! [pause] There… There… [spits onto edge of cloth] The Holy One will hear you. Bless me as your blood blesses me.

VII. Jesus falls a second time [Foot soldier]
Get Up!! [lash] Up!! That dog has been carrying your post and you can’t even stay up? Look over there … there! Listen! Your own kind is laughing at you! Aren’t you the Jew king? Act regal –get out of the dust! [lash] Come on – head up, king! [laughing] You - dog! Give your king back his stick … [Simon drops the plank from his shoulders, lifts it onto Jesus and backs into the bystanders]. Put your back into it now, ‘ king’. We, your legions will follow! [laughing]

VIII. Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem [Ruth from Bethany]
Mercy? Why does He pity us? He’s dying! He’s walking dead! Woe that we must live without him! Woe to his mother! His brother and sisters grieve him even now! May the Holy One have pity on us and him as well!

IX. Jesus falls a third time [Crucifixion Detail soldier]
By all the gods GET UP!!!! Marius – bring the rope back and tie the post over his shoulders. You two – push him up. We’re almost to your throne, king. March! [lash] March!

X. Jesus is stripped [Temple scribe; Senior Crucifixion Guard]
Soldier! You could get decent money for that robe, I’m sure!

The old man speaks well. Why let it go to waste? We’re here. Halt! Strip the prisoner. Eh, don’t tear the robe! There’s a slave at the officers quarters that can get those stains out. He CAN, I tell you. I’ll wager you that he can. Iridious, take the bets because I’ll make a fine profit on this!!! After that I’ll take bids on who will keep the souvenir. Now, off with his cloth. [pause]See, men! We have a Jew after all! [laughing] You’re not much of a king now, are you! HAAAA!

XI. Jesus is nailed to the cross [Crucifixion Detail Officer]
The usual. Lash the wrists and forearms! Used these main planks twenty times at least, haven’t we? Sit each prisoner down on the plank and drop the beam into the notch. I DON’T CARE ABOUT HIS HEAD!!!! You, you … hold down each arm and mind your ears. They always squeal and scream. Spike below the wrist – three strikes should do. Then one man on the torso and twist the legs to the side – and watch out, they’ll soil you. [Heckling in background] When you’re finished, ropes on each side of the beam two men push from the back. That’s it. Drop it in the hole and on to the next.

XII. Jesus dies on the cross [Mary of Migdala]
Oh, Lord - that I could die now. [to hecklers] Shut up you crows – LEAVE! Your job is finished!!! John, Cousin Mary. I don’t want to know of life now. [looking up through agonized tears] Why?? Why?? WHY?????????

XIII. Jesus’ body is given to Mary [Mary]
My son, my firstborn son. My life. My son. Have mercy, my love, my one….. my son … [she rocks him, kissing his mangled forehead, wailing silently]

XIV. Jesus is laid in the tomb [Joseph of Arimethea/Nicodemus]
I don’t care if all in the Sanhedrin hear about this. Rabbi … [hesitates] Lord ... forgive me for not speaking up more when you were alive. I will help your mother, your family. Go before us to Abraham and to the Holy One. Have Peace and Rest. Have mercy on us as we mourn. We will not, we cannot, forget you. We will tell your story. Rest and give us rest.

[Take this opportunity to observe a lengthy silence. No talk or singing. If you have walked these Stations, allow participants to return to sit or kneel as they prefer. ]

[Leader: Break the silence with the following words, allowing time for all participants to retrieve their copies.] Let us pray together:

Almighty God, we pray you graciously to behold this your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed, and given into the hands of sinners, and to suffer death upon the cross; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Copyright © 2009 K. Joanna Depue and The Geranium Farm.

The Stations of the Cross - Teen/Young Adult edition

This version of the Stations of the Cross was written in March 2006 and dedicated to Happening! New York. My intention was to give this one a graphic edge that youth might relate to. I suggest using the simple Taize chant "Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom". If you use this piece, kindly include the attribution below.


Intro: The Stations of the Cross is a 'occasional' service which is used - especially during Lent - to get in touch with the sacrificial love of Jesus. The Stations represent different scenes of the passion of Christ - about the last five hours of His life. It’s shocking and incredible to think that in the last 36 hours of His life Jesus packed in more action and emotion than we might accomplish in a lifetime. He: instituted Holy Communion during the Last Supper, ate and drank only once, was disrespected and sold out by one of His closest friends, was abandoned by all the rest of his friends and students, was arrested in public by a mob, was kicked, pushed and pulled all through the night walking back and forth between rival power players, was spit on, beaten to the point of shreaded skin and muscle, felt burning heat, sweat and pain, was ridiculed, was put down and disrespected by Jew and Roman alike.

his last mortal steps which we commemorate in the Stations of the Cross.

As we walk these Stations, let's keep our attention focused: He gave His life- we can give his final walk respect. We’ll walk slowly in between each Station, stopping for the annoucement of each Station and the short reading that follows. In between each station we can sing the dedication: Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy Immortal One have mercy on us.

1. Jesus is condemned to death

He was arrested in the garden by a mob - all his friends deserted him. He was pushed from one power player to another, messing with His will and His mind. Finally Pilate gave in and allowed Jesus to continue to be tortured and finally killed - in public.
God, there are times when I am being punished for things that I have done against my parents or friends or neighbors. Jesus did nothing wrong and will be killed in a slow and painful way - nothing and no one can save Him.

2. Jesus takes up His cross

A cross - made up of two heavy planks from a tree - full of splinters is lifted by three
soldiers and dropped on His shoulders. He can barely stand up under the weight.
He has been through so much already - the beating, the spitting, being mocked, being abandoned by his closest friends. How can He stand under the weight of it all?

3. Jesus falls for the first time
The weight is too much. He’s wiped out, thirsty, boiling hot. The cross seems heavier
with each step.
You know what you must do and you just keep on - you see a different goal before you.

4. Jesus meets His mother

He is caked with blood, sweat and dirt. The flies buzz around, landing on his cuts, in his ears. He finds it hard to been seen by His mom and to look into her eyes.
Some of us have a harder time getting along with our parents for many different reasons. Even 'though we may have a tough relationship we don’t want them to be embarassed by who we are, what we are and what we do.

5. The cross is laid on Simon of Cyrene

The soldiers are getting impatient because Jesus isn’t moving fast enough for them. They
just want this criminal to get up the hill so that they can nail him to the cross and go off duty.
Sometimes we are volunteered for things - we don’t want to help, we don’t care. It's only after we've done it that we recognize that helping someone else helps us.

6. A woman wipes the face of Jesus

A woman from Jerusalem steps out from the crowd, unseen by the guards, and wipes the face of Jesus. After he gets up and passes by she looks down at her veil and sees that His face
has left a perfect imprint!
Oh, Jesus - I can't even imagine the pain you are in - so much sweat and blood in your eyes that you can’t see the pavement in front o you. Because of Veronica’s kindness some of your pain is lifted and you could go on.

7. Jesus falls a second time

His knees are giving way; he keeps falling down on one knee or the other - and finally the cross slams down next to him.
How can you go on? How much pain can you stand? How can I be worth this much to You?

8. Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem

Here were women He had preached to, had taught. Now they walked along with Him
behind the baracades, trying not to make the guards angry.
Can I walk beside you? Can I risk being known as your disciple?

9. Jesus falls a third time

He can’t continue to go on. His body is failing Him. The weight of the cross is too much to bear and he is flattened as it falls on top of Him.
Holy God there are times when we are so blown away by the pain of rejection and self doubt that we can’t take another step. Help us to remember You’ve been there too....

10. Jesus is stripped

There are no more masks left, there is nothing to hide. Even his personal dignity is being
denied. Jesus’ battered, torn, bloody, bruised body is fully exposed to the elements and to us.
All of my protection against exposure - of being completely known - is stripped in your presence, loving God. You see me for the person you made, not the person I can pretend to be. Yet even here - completely vulnerable - you love me your own: precious and beautiful.

11. Jesus is nailed to the cross

The pain is so unbearable, His death is very near.
Despite the agony, despite the shame, despite the loss You surrender Your life for my soul. It is so hard to comprehend this kind of unconditional love.

12. Jesus dies on the cross

He has done everything that was required of Him. He loved the world and the people in
it; He blesses God, forgives those who betrayed, arrested and executed Him. He takes one final breath..... and then lets all of what He is....... go.
Mortal death - darkness - comes to the Man who said 'I Am the Light, I Am the Life'. This is radical love, Jesus. You give it all and blame no one,You follow Your Father's instructions to the very end. Your faithfulness conquers evil for all time.

13. Jesus’ body is given to Mary

His lifeless body is lowered into his mother's arms for the last time, appearing to be a
casualty in the war of Good vs. Evil.
Mary can see moments of the life she shared with Him flash before her eyes and can only cry in grief beyond words over the loss of her eldest son.

14. Jesus is laid in the tomb

It looks like the story is over. It looks like the enemy has won..... but looks can be deceiving.
No matter what it looks like on the outside, help me to see and do Your will. You will make the old new and the dead come to life again - whether it is my bruised feelings or my outlook on life or any temporary setbacks I have. Be my example and let my fears and my faith rest with You.
Copyright © 2006 K.L.Joanna Depue and DJ on

Stations of the Cross

These "Stations" were written in October 2004 and originally posted in 2005. They are dedicated to New York Episcopal Cursillo and are suitable for individuals and groups of most age groups and may be used by anyone. Simply attribute me and The Geranium Farm. In this and all things, may we draw closer to Christ.



These Stations are written to provide a more dramatic, concentrated experience, intended to draw the participants in with the use of lighting, little movement and the suggestion that the speakers at each Station were eyewitnesses to the Passion.

Readers A and B face each other for their short dialogue, take a beat, then face forward toward the congregation for line C, which is said in unison. The pair is followed by a statement or question by the narrator. There should be no more than 4 narrators; “pairs” of readers can be used more than once, depending on number of readers available. A rehearsal is suggested to coordinate unison lines and movement of readers (if they are used more than once). Busy-ness should be kept at a minimum so as not to distract from the meditative nature of this exercise.

Four simple work lights are used, illuminating 3 groups of 4 Stations, 1 group of 2 Stations: all are lit at the beginning of this piece. In each case, when the narrator is finished with 4, 8, 12 and 14 one light is turned out. In other words, as the Stations move on, it gets darker and darker.

I. Jesus is condemned to death

A. We found him in the garden. There were just a few with him and he didn’t even resist.
B. They passed him around all night – and Pilate came to the only conclusion the government would accept….

N. Faced with the reality of your own death, You walked forward, trusting your Father within you. May we in our various and final journeys look to your example for inspiration and strength.

II. Jesus takes up his cross

A. He worked with wood for years, always creating and repairing-
B. And now he carries his heaviest work of all.
C. With ultimate love and intention He bears the cross that will bear Him.

N. Christ embraced the symbol of his death and faced the reality of his responsibility. May we face our own responsibilities with determination and love.

III. Jesus falls the first time

A. So---- the Rabbi isn’t used to such a heavy load! Much heavier than the tables in the Temple.
B. You see! It has all fallen on his shoulders

N. What weight to we carry? What weight does He carry for us? Does it feel to much to bear?

IV. Jesus meets his mother

A. Why is she here? Hasn’t he caused her enough pain? Enough shame?
B. How can she even recognize him like this or acknowledge him in public?
C. This mother sees only her son.

N. Do we have the vision that love affords? May the example of Mary and Jesus allow us to see ourselves and others with ultimate compassion.

V. The cross is laid on Simon of Cyrene

A. He’ll be unclean for weeks- tainted, despised and avoided by his family and neighbors.
B. HA! The spectator is forced to participate…
C. As if someone would volunteer to help this Jesus.

N. When given the luxury of choice, do I choose to work with God? By shouldering my own crosses, I travel the road of life with Christ as my companion.

VI. A woman wipes the face of Jesus

A. Did you see that? She stumbled forward, took part of her veil and wiped his face!
B. Has she no shame? Has she lost her mind? She will be barred from the Temple!
C. Guilt and infamy by association. Her reputation is ruined.

N. Can I practice true compassion and charity without considering what other people think? Can I give without hope of receiving in return?

VII. Jesus falls a second time

A. He isn’t even carrying the cross and he’s falling down.
B. This “messiah” is quite weak after all!
C. ….. and where are his disciples now??

N. When my sister or brother stumbles, do I lend a hand? Can I offer the ministry of presence to those in joy or in pain?

VIII. Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem
A. He healed my daughter; He gave us new life and hope.
B. What hope will there be with Him gone? Will a greater teacher come?
C. Surely He is dying… and our future with Him.

N. Setbacks and disappointments come; losses come. God grant me the gift of perspective to see my personal losses in the greater scheme of things.

IX. Jesus falls a third time
A. He is exhausted; his very breathing shakes his body.
B. It is nearly done; he can barely move.
C. Will he live long enough for the authorities to kill him?
N. May your example of honor and love sustain me when my strength to do the right thing wanes.

X. Jesus is stripped
A. Where is his pride now? His charm? His magnetism?
B. He looks barely human! Who can look at him?
C. This is a shell of a man: small, broken, insignificant.

N. When all of my defenses are down- when all my trappings are gone – do I have the courage to see myself as God sees me?

XI. Jesus is nailed to the cross

A. His fate was sealed hours ago
B. And from this tree there is no escape.
C. Hung – naked – at the mercy of time and the elements.

N. I cannot know the pain my Savior knew during his passion, but I can devote the sacrifices I make or discomfort I experience to God in an act of empathy.

XII. Jesus dies on the cross

A. He defied the government.
B. He confounded the keepers of the Law
C. But death itself he did not defy.

N. Help me see surrender n the light of power and strength! Grace me with the courage to surrender my life to Christ day by day.

XIII. Jesus’ body is given to Mary

A. Look at her face. She is beyond sobbing and tears.
B. She is shocked, torn. Oh, how she loved him.
C. Even holding this rank, mangled body she can see only her beloved son.

N. My expectations, my assumptions. Many will not survive when put to the test. Stand with me as I face letting go of some things I have tried to hold on to. Give me insight to the true meaning of each lesson.

XIV. Jesus is laid in the tomb

A. The life is gone
B. The living must bury the dead
C. Will anyone remember him in the days and years to come?

N. Seeing may be believing, but surely belief is more than only those things I can see. Bring me from the cross to glory; from the tomb to the altar; from death to life again.

Copyright © 2005 K.L.Joanna Depue and Deacon J

Monday, March 29, 2010

Two Other Stations of the Cross

This series of Stations was posted as The Lead over at The Episcopal Cafe. Prepared by the Committee for Young Adult Ministry, these Stations are online and feature artwork and meditations from young adults throughout the Church.

Click here for the link:

"Women of the Passion, a Journey to the Cross" written by Katie Sherrod is available from for $10.99. It tells the story of Christ's Passion from the viewpoint of the women witnessing it. They include the woman with the flow of blood, the woman caught in adultery, and other women from Scripture.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

New Stations of the Cross written by an Episcopal Blogger

Gifted blogger, physician and 'first generation Episcopalian', Maria L. Evans of Kirksville, MO has written a fine order of Stations of the Cross. She has graciously given permission for others to use her work, provided that you give her appropriate (and, in my opinion, well-deserved) credit.

This form may be used for personal devotion or in a congregation on Good Friday. Click on the following link to go directly to Maria's blog for her original Stations of the Cross: The full text is the entry dated March 27, 2010.

Thank you so very much, Dr. Evans, for this thoughtful resource. Your own Lenten discipline will benefit so many!

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