Stations in the Street
Guide for Reflection
Welcome! Use this as a guide for your meditative journey through the stations of the cross in our garden. Take time to slow down, reflect, and be present. If you’d like to talk about your experience or pray with someone after viewing this art installation, please contact Pastor Josh Linman.
A Word from the Artist, Scott Erickson:
The Stations of the Cross began as a remembrance that pilgrims had when they were retracing Jesus’ final steps in Jerusalem up to the hill where He was crucified. Wanting to share that practice and experience with people who couldn’t make the trip to Jerusalem, they created local stations of meditation that became in itself a tradition.
This journey to the cross is not only a meditation of Jesus accomplishing victory in death but a contemplation of Jesus silently participating in some of the worst aspects of being human. We see Him being tempted to give up. Being betrayed by a friend. Being convicted in an unjust political system. Physical pain. Mockery. Public humiliation. Broken family relationships. And one of our greatest fears…dying. These are all aspects of human life that He was not insulated from. In fact on the cross He quotes King David saying “My God My God, Why have you forsaken me?”… as if to say ”Why is it like this?” He was one who was not separate from our own suffering.
Many of us feel the weight of anxiety and fear as we journey through the current world. We are told many narratives of how it is and what is to come. During this season of Lent, we as a community look to the life and teachings of Jesus. We think that One who spoke the words of “Be not afraid”… and “Come to me all you are weary and carrying a heavy load, for I will give you rest”… is someone who can illuminate our desperate viewpoint.
These stations are a cross-section of elements, ideas, and objects from Jesus’ journey to the cross. As you work through these stations, may you see that we are not troubled guests in this world…that we are not forsaken…and that the good news of this season was expressed best by Jesus when He said… “I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Scott Erickson - scottericksonart.com
I: JESUS IS OVERWHELMED
Then Jesus went with them to a garden called Gethsemane and told his disciples, “Stay here while I go over there and pray.” Taking along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he plunged into an agonizing sorrow. Then he said, “This sorrow is crushing my life out. Stay here and keep vigil with me.” Matthew 26:36-38 (The Message - MSG)
Further reading: Matthew 26:36-46
Reflection: What has (would) drive you to such a sorrowful and desperate time of prayer?
II: JESUS IS BETRAYED
But Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you came to do.” Then they came and grabbed Jesus and arrested him. Matthew 26:50 (Common English Bible - CEB)
Further reading: John 13:21-30
Reflection: According to the Gospel of John, Jesus shares the meal of Holy Communion with Judas before he betrays Jesus. What witness does that share with us as we engage with those who hurt and betray us?
III: JESUS IS CONDEMNED
Pilate said, “I am to crucify your king?” The high priests answered, “We have no king except Caesar.” John 19:15 (MSG)
Further reading: Luke 22:66-71
Reflection: What do we pledge our allegiance to in this day and age?
IV: JESUS IS MOCKED
The soldiers assigned to the governor took Jesus into the governor’s palace and got the entire brigade together for some fun. They stripped him and dressed him in a red robe. They plaited a crown from branches of a thornbush and set it on his head. They put a stick in his right hand for a scepter. Then they knelt before him in mocking reverence: “Bravo, King of the Jews!” they said. “Bravo!” Then they spit on him and hit him on the head with the stick. When they had had their fun, they took off the robe and put his own clothes back on him. Then they proceeded out to the crucifixion. Matthew 27:27-31 (MSG)
Reflection: When have you seen truth tellers and advocates for justice mocked in our time?
V: JESUS IS GIVEN HIS CROSS
In the same way that Moses lifted the serpent in the desert so people could have something to see and then believe, it is necessary for the Son of Man to be lifted up—and everyone who looks up to him, trusting and expectant, will gain a real life, eternal life. John 3:14-15 (MSG)
Reflection: Dwell on the following statement from The Cross and the Lynching Tree by Dr. James Cone, “Until we can see the cross and the lynching tree together, until we can identify Christ with a “recrucified” black body hanging from a lynching tree, there can be no genuine understanding of Christian identity in America, and no deliverance from the brutal legacy of slavery and white supremacy.”
VI: JESUS FALLS
“Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.” John 12:24-25 (The Message)
Reflection: This station, although not found in scripture, is traditionally in three stations. It symbolizes his humanity and his ever decreasing strength as he moves towards his public death. Imagine Jesus experiencing weakness and distress in a public setting with no where to hide. Imagine the exhaustion of the last 24 hours.
VII: SIMON CARRIES JESUS’ CROSS
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “All who want to come after me must say no to themselves, take up their cross, and follow me. Matthew 16:24 (CEB)
Reflection: Imagine being pulled from the crowd and carrying this man’s device of death. What is it like to walk alongside Jesus in this? What could it look like to walk alongside those unjustly condemned in our day?
VIII: JESUS IS STRIPPED
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing.” The soldiers drew lots as a way of dividing up his clothing. The people were standing around watching, but the leaders sneered at him, saying, “He saved others. Let him save himself if he really is the Christ sent from God, the chosen one.” Luke 23:34-35 (CEB)
Reflection: As in ancient times, we continue to find ways to dehumanize people convicted of crimes - justly or unjustly.
IX: JESUS IS NAILED TO THE CROSS
Jesus cried out with a loud shout, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani,” which means, “My God, my God, why have you left me?” Matthew 27:46 (CEB)
Reflection: When have you felt forsaken or abandoned?
X: JESUS DIES
No one has greater love than to give up one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13 (CEB)
Reflection: Jesus died. His physical body stopped working. His friends watched Him die. Our greatest fear is death. And Jesus, God in the flesh, was not insulated from that fear.
XI: JESUS IS BURIED
When she poured this perfume on my body, what she really did was anoint me for burial. Matthew 26:12 (MSG)
Reflection: Have you ever buried a loved one? Sit with those memories. Recall the feelings. Life rarely goes as planned and often has moments of great pain and loss. You are not alone.
XII: JESUS RISES
God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more. There will be no mourning, crying, or pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Then the one seated on the throne said, “Look! I’m making all things new.” He also said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Revelation 21:4-5 (CEB)
A prayer as you leave this time:
Lord God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us, and your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.