Stations of the Cross ~ a focus beyond ourselves…

Stations of the Cross

This creative visual expression of the ninth and tenth “Stations of the Cross” was a group activity of Color Me FRIENDS and some members of St Francis Episcopal Church, Manakin-Sabot, VA this Lenten season. The two stations are part of a series of coloring pages from Illustrated Children’s Ministry by artist, Adam Walker Cleveland.   I wanted to provide a creative response to a presentation I gave on how we hear God through creative expression.  I also wanted the response to deepen a sense of “belonging” and “community”.   In my own experience and what I know from others, as I engage in the creative process, my mind is quieted, my perception opens up, and I awaken more deeply to the Spirit of God.  One might say, “the eyes of my heart are opened”.  Working together as a group on any project, especially an art work, can provide a sense of belonging to something “bigger” than myself, as well as, provide a way for my values to be expressed and more deeply experienced.

“During the season of Lent, the Stations of the Cross are often focused upon – to help us see beyond ourselves, our own egos and agendas, and to walk with God.”   Images of the Stations are found in many forms in churches and gardens throughout the world.  They are associated with Christian pilgrimages to Jerusalem by the early Christians who would physically travel to Jerusalem.

The ninth Station on the “left” is entitled, “Blessing”.   Here in Luke 23:27-31, we learn that this is where Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem, and he says these strange words: “Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore… (Luke 23:29).  I would like to share with you what the authors of “Illustrated Children’s Ministry” have written on this account. “These words are exactly opposite of what we hear at the beginning of Luke’s gospel when Gabriel announces to Mary that she will give birth to Jesus:  “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb” (Luke 1:42).  Perhaps the words in Luke’s account of the Passion are a reminder to us that every moment of our lives, even those places that seem the most forsaken, can be places of God’s blessing.  And it is precisely those most human of conditions that Jesus wishes to bless, to transform, and to take up into the divine life.”

Is there something in your life that is difficult right now?  As you ponder the ninth Station of the Cross, ask the Lord to open the eyes of your heart to hear his words of blessing upon you.  Perhaps as you listen and watch, you may see a picture in your mind’s eye.  Write down what you hear and see, then take one more step and consider how you might visually, musically, or find some other form of creative expression for this blessing that has come to you.  Let yourself rest in this joy.

Carol