Saturday, March 29, 2008

Way of the Cross-2008: Station Fourteen

Johnny Cash and The Carter Family: Were you There?

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 Fourteen: Governor’s Mansion (Jackson Street)

Station Fourteen: Jesus is placed in the tomb

The human agony is over. Jesus’ body is laid in the tomb. We have walked together and remembered with love and tears the suffering and death of our Lord and Savior. So, too, we have walked and remembered with love and tears the way we, and our world, crucify him still.

Now, may we find strength enough to hum a few notes of a hymn, whisper some bit of a psalm, say a snatch of a prayer, and give thanks for those who journey with us. May we on this day of death, find presence enough to speak our love for all of God’s children. May we find gratitude enough to forgive and ask to be forgiven. May we, even now, see in your face in the faces of those to whom we are blooded and bonded. We humbly pray:

Our Father who art in heaven
Hallowed be they name.
Thy kingdom come,
They will be done one earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory now and forever.

And so ended my unplanned pilgrimage among strangers/friends in Springfield Illinois. Franciscans were the protectors of the Holy sites in the Holy Land. When the Ottomans denied pilgrimage to the sites it was the Franciscans that popularized the Stations of the Cross. The pilgrimage became internal but aided by the senses. Over the years there were many different models of "doing" the Stations. The number of Stations varied and actually went as high as 34 Stations.Over time the Stations were standardized. We say 14 Stations and may add a 15th, the Resurrected Christ. The Way of the Cross-2008 was stylized to aid the pilgrim to remember the Passion but also to acknowledge the Living Christ in a specific time and a specific place. Thank you Springfield.

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