Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Way of the Cross-2008: Station Four

Old State Capitol
I was fortunate enough to discover the 20th Annual Walk for Justice while I was in Springfield Illinois. The group was inter-denominational. The Stations were landmarks in downtown Springfield that could connect current events to Jesus today. I will review each station one at a time.

Station Four: Old State Capitol (where Abraham Lincoln practiced law)

Station Four: Jesus meets his Mother.

Mary looks with love and pity at her beloved son, who has been scourged, crowned with thorns. Here we stand in the shadow of our historic state capitol contemplating the violence that permeates our society.

U.S. culture is exported around the world every day. Products and advertisements touting everything for jeans to soft drinks to athletic footwear are everywhere. Image of violence are often associated with the United States. Western movies depict cowboys conquering Native Americans and music videos exploit young women. Violence is everywhere in our psyche and culture.

Statistics inform us that the rates of interpersonal violence are higher in our country than in any other “developed” country. Homicide is the leading cause of death among 15-24 year olds. Violence against women continues. One source suggests that 1 in 5 women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. Injury prevention experts agree that no one in immune from the affects of violence….

The violence in our country demands the concentrated attention of all of us. Violence prevention depends on the working partnership of religious, civic, cultural and governmental organizations and agencies.

We who see the face of Jesus, as Mary did, bloody and beaten are called to acts of compassion. So, too, we are called to speak out against all in the culture which either contributes or celebrates the violence around us.

Lord, Jesus Christ, through your death on the cross you disarmed the powers of evil. Help us to enter into your victory and to take a stand against all violence wherever it may be. Le us see your face, as Mary did on your way to Calvary, and let us be moved to compassion to pray and take action for all the victims of violence in our world.

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