Thursday, March 20, 2008

Maundy Thursday Tonight

This is part of the bulletin for tonight's service at 6:30 PM

As we gather around the table we remember the night that Jesus had his last supper with his disciples. This was not an ordinary supper. It was the Passover supper. On that night Jesus spoke new meaning into the ancient Passover meal. Our communion, also known as the Lord’s Supper, was instituted on this night as Jesus ate and drank with his closest friends. May Jesus be with us as we gather round the table with our friends and families.

After the meal Jesus was betrayed and turned over to the authorities and condemned to a cruel death on the cross. After our supper, you will be invited to walk the stations of the cross and follow Jesus on this lonely road. The stations are not numbered. Feel free to walk them in any order as to make room for all to walk the stations. You may walk all, some or none. Please refrain from speaking until you reach the church parking lot.

Walking the Stations of the Cross goes back to the earliest days of the church when pilgrims would go to Jerusalem and trace Jesus' steps. They called the route - the Via Dolorosa - way of suffering or the Via Cruces way of the Cross…

Markers were put up all along the way to remember different things that happened along the way to the cross. Pilgrims would stop and pray and think about Jesus' suffering. As a teaching tool, many churches in Europe made their own stations of the cross in church or churchyards using paintings or sculptures - sort of like medieval multimedia - to teach about Jesus' last day

Like a lot of things we do as Christians it became more than it was intended to be. Stations were added that were not biblical - just based on legend- like the story of Veronica who wipe's Jesus' face with a towel. There is no set number of stations. Some traditions had 37 stations. Most today have 14 of those 14 on 6 or 7 are actual found in the Bible. We are only using 6 stations and they are all directly from scripture.

So why are we walking the stations during Lent?

We are hoping that by experiencing the Stations of the Cross, that the eyes and ears of our hearts will be opened once more and we will hear the story of the cross in a new way.

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