Welcome to this sacred space. For Christians, the Easter story reminds us of a central teaching in the life of Jesus: new beginnings are possible. In the face of death, Easter insists that death is not the end of the story. Take some time to listen. Amid the rubble, there is a word of hope calling out. Amid destruction, a creative word is calling forth life.
Take some time to stand before each station. Take in the words. Consider the words against the backdrop of destruction. Reflect on the questions. Let them lead you to prayer and communion with God.
Station One: A Word of Forgiveness
“Father forgive them, they don’t know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). The cross is a radical statment about the grace of God – grace that reaches out to us and embraces us as we are, not as we should be. The grace of God comes to us even while we are living in rebellion. It doesn’t wait for us to get our act cleaned up. Take a moment to reflect on that grace.
- How have you experienced God’s grace in your own life? How do you need to experience it today?
- How is God calling you to extend that grace to others?
Station Two: A Word of Promise
“Today, you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43). The thief on the cross next to Jesus defies all our attempts at easy, neat, clean theological systems. He prayed no sinners’ prayer. He performed no acts of penance. He didn’t make things right with those he had wronged. He cried out to Jesus: “Remember me when you come into your kingdom.” That is all.
- How do you need to cry out to Jesus today?
- How does it make you feel that Jesus’ promise to remember is for you as well?
Station Three: A Word of Devotion
“Woman, behold, your son! . . . Behold, your mother!” (John 19:26-27). In the aftermath of the storm, most of us just wanted to make sure that our friends and family were safe. Jesus also understands that impulse to take care of those that he loves. He ministers to us through the love and care of our human family (biological as well as spiritual).
- Who is God calling you to care for today?
- How are you receiving God’s care through others?
Station Four: A Word of Desolation
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). If we are honest, we all have experienced times where it seemed as though God had forgotten us. There are times when the best we can do is to stumble towards faith and our meditations feel as though we are staring into an empty abyss. For many, the storms of January 12 may have been just such a time. As we journey with Jesus, it may be helpful to recognize that he knows those feelings as well.
- Are you experiencing deep doubt or some other crisis of faith today? Take some time to share that with the Lord in prayer. Remember that God can handle our fears or questions and values our honesty over false piety any day.
- If you aren’t going through one of those difficult moments today, take a moment to pray for those who are.
Station Five: A Word of Anguish
“I thirst” (John 19:28). It would be very difficult to estimate the number of water bottles that were handed out in the aftermath of the January 12th tornadoes. Not only was Jesus’ statement of thirst a reminder of his humanity, it resonates with all who know the pain of walking through desert seasons. We who know what it is like to be parched echo Jesus’ cry and reach out for the water of life that may never run dry.
- What are you thirsting for today?
- To whom is God giving you a chance to share a cup of cold of water in Christ’s name?
Station Six: A Word of Commitment
“Father, into your hands, I commit my spirit” (Luke 23:46). To consider the cross of Christ is to hear his invitation: “Come to me all who are weary and weighed down. Come and I will give you rest.” It is to hear the call: “If anyone would be my disciple, let them deny themself and take up their cross and follow me.” It is to hear the summons: “Come, follow me.”
- What has caused you to be weary or weighed down this year? How can you bring that to Christ and surrender it to him?
- What would it look like for you to take up your cross and follow Jesus? What would it look like to die to yourself so that you might embrace the life that embodies peace, forgiveness, justice, and hope?
Station Seven: A Word of Victory
“It is finished” (John 19:30). The Bible teaches that Jesus is “the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.” His work on the cross was a final declaration against the power of sin and death. There is nothing that we can do as humans to earn the love or grace of God. All that is left for us to do is accept the gift of grace and live in the freedom of God’s love. Our job is to live into the reality of the Kingdom of Heaven that Jesus proclaimed – a kingdom of justice, goodness, wholeness, abundance, peace, and hope.
- Is there anything that you need to confess as you confront the cross of Christ? Try using the prayer below as a starting point.
- “Most merciful God, I confess that I have sinned against You in thought, word, and deed, by what I’ve have done, and by what I have left undone. I have not loved You with my whole heart; I have not loved my neighbors as myself. I am truly sorry and I humbly repent. For the sake of thy Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on me and forgive me; that I may delight in Your will, and walk in Your ways, to the glory of Your Name. Amen.”
We would love to know how we can support you in your spiritual journey. If you have had a special experience with these stations, please send us an email. If you would like more information about becoming a follower of Jesus, being baptized, or membership at First Baptist, email us by clicking here.
May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you wherever he may send you.
May He guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm.
May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders he has shown you.
May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.
As you journey the road of the cross, may you remember that you are loved,
and there’s nothing you can do about it. Amen.