As the days of winter fade away and the flowers of spring begin to sprout, so it is with our spiritual lives. During Lent, we practice various methods of devotion and prayer which connect us with our Judeo-Christian heritage of the past and our current practices of discipleship in the present.
by Rev. Dr. Matthew M. Williams, Senior Pastor
We are walking together through the season of Lent. Lent is a season that consists of 40 days and begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday. Given that in the Protestant tradition, every Lord’s Day (Sunday) is a celebration of the Resurrection, Sundays are not counted in the day count of 40 days of Lent.
Lent comes from the Anglo-Saxon word lencten, which means “spring.” As the days of winter fade away and the flowers of spring begin to sprout, so it is with our spiritual lives. During Lent, we practice various methods of devotion and prayer which connect us with our Judeo-Christian heritage of the past and our current practices of discipleship in the present. Trinity is offering numerous opportunities to study, pray, and worship during this season. As you read this, many of you are participating in our daily Lenten devotional, Streams in the Wilderness, written by persons in our congregation. As we are journeying together, we are anticipating the Via Crucis, or the Way of the Cross, as we approach Holy Week.
Commonly known in Jerusalem as the Via Dolorosa, the Way of the Cross traces the traditional steps and encounters of Jesus as He journeyed to Calvary. The steps and encounters have been marked as stations as they seek to convey specific interactions of Jesus’s journey. All over the world, these stations have been depicted in cultural traditions that connect with the spiritual understandings of people.
Many who have visited Jerusalem as pilgrims have walked this narrow way through the bustling old city as an act of devotion. Throughout the entire world, people walk the Way of the Cross. Their journey includes prayer at each station to deepen their understanding of the redemptive suffering of Jesus as He walked that fateful journey. The Stations of the Cross draw us closer to the Savior as we realize that even in His human frailty, He accepted what He faced to redeem the world.
Trinity is offering the Stations of the Cross throughout the season of Lent in the Glenn C. James Chapel. Brett Ingram has created original artwork to mark each of the stations. With the stations surrounding the intimate worship space of the James Chapel, participants are invited to imagine and experience what Jesus endured for the entire world as He walked the journey to the cross.
The liturgy evokes personal connection with the sufferings of Jesus. At each station, the portion of the liturgy begins with a section entitled “Christ Speaks.” This is read aloud by the leader of the liturgy, whether clergy or laity, and is followed by those gathered in a response. Station Four is listed here to provide a fuller understanding of how the liturgy flows:
Station Four: Jesus Meets His Mother
My mother sees Me whipped. She sees Me kicked and driven like a beast. She counts My every wound. But though her soul cries out in agony, no protest or complaint escapes her lips or even enters her thoughts.
She shares My martyrdom—and I share hers. We hide no pain, no sorrow from each other’s eyes. This is My Father’s will.
My Jesus, Lord, I know what You are telling me.
To watch the pain of those we love is harder than to bear our own.
To carry my cross after You, I, too, must stand and
watch the sufferings of my dear ones—the heartaches, sicknesses, and grief of those I love.
And I must let them watch mine, too.
I do believe—for those who love You all things work together unto good.
Jesus remember me, when You come into Your kingdom.
The Stations of the Cross is an act of meditation that can be experienced with large or small groups, families, Sunday school classes; they can be led by clergy or laity; and they can be walked as an experience of private devotion. Please watch your Sunday bulletin and News & Notes for times we will offer the Stations of the Cross as a communal act of Lenten devotion.
Also, you can walk the stations at any time by coordinating with our church office. You may do it in silence, with speaking aloud, or we can play a recording of the clergy leading the stations for you. The beauty and sanctity of James Chapel is here for you.
The Chancel Window in James Chapel is an illustration of the 148th Psalm. As we read in verse 14: He has raised up a horn for his people, praise for all his faithful, for the people of Israel who are close to him. Participating in the Stations of the Cross will deepen your affections for the experiences of Jesus. They provide a way for us all to sense the closeness of God.