Saturday, March 29, 2008

Way of the Cross-2008: Station Thirteen

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 Thirteen: Governor’s Mansion (5th Street Gate)

Station Thirteen: Jesus is taken down from the Cross

A disciple of Jesus, Joseph of Arimathea, took Jesus’ lifeless body from the cross and carried it to a new tomb, which had been cut out of rock. Laying his body down, he prepared it for burial. Having bound it up with wrappings of cloth with perfumed oil, it was laid in the tomb, as was the custom. Joseph treated our Lord with loving care and respect.

Standing outside the Governor’s mansion, looking out over this beautiful garden, we pray that such loving care and respect might be shown for all people from conception to natural death. Daily, people are dis-respected because of the color of their skin, because of their gender, because of the way they choose to worship, because of their sexual orientation.

We hear voices say, “What we need is tolerance,” No! What we need is respect: the same kind of respect that Jesus showed the tax collectors and the lepers; the same kind of respect Jesus gave to women and children, the same kind of respect with which Joseph treated Jesus’ body even after his death on the cross.

“Try saying this silently to everyone—you see for thirty days and see what happens to our own souls: “I wish you happiness now and whatever will bring happiness to you in the future.” If we said it to small children we would have to stop abusing them, even in the name of training; if we said it to (all) people, we would have to stop stoking the fires of enmity around us. WE WOULD CHANGE~ In a high Spiritual season, Lord, we ask you to change our hearts!

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