Stations of the Cross

Unfortunately we have been unable to follow our usual custom of weekly stations of the cross in church. These are the stations of the cross that we use, so now there is the opportunity to reflect on them at your own leisure.

FOR WHOM WOULD JESUS HAVE YOU WEEP?

STATION 1: CHRIST IS BROUGHT BEFORE PILATE

Reading: Luke 23:13-24
Pilate called together the chief priests, the rulers and the people, and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was inciting the people to rebellion. I have examined him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against him. Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us; as you can see, he has done nothing to deserve death. Therefore, I will punish him and then release him.”
But the whole crowd shouted, “Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!” (Barabbas had been thrown into prison for an insurrection in the city, and for murder.)
Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed to them again. But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”
For the third time he spoke to them: “Why? What crime has this man committed? I have found in him no grounds for the death penalty. Therefore, I will have him punished and then release him.”
But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed. So Pilate decided to grant their demand.
FOR WHOM WOULD JESUS HAVE YOU WEEP?
Migrants and Refugees in Crisis
Reading: Leviticus 19:34
The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.
Prayer: Father, you call us to love the stranger in our land. May we encounter you in those we welcome with love in the name of Christ. Amen
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you;
Because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

STATION 2: CHRIST TAKES UP HIS CROSS

Reading: John 19:1-6, 17
Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe 3 and went up to him again and again, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” And they slapped him in the face.
Once more Pilate came out and said to the Jews gathered there, “Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against him.” When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!”
As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!”
But Pilate answered, “You take him and crucify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him.” Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha).
FOR WHOM WOULD JESUS HAVE YOU WEEP?
Children Living in Poverty
Reading: 1 John 3:16-17
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?
Prayer: Jesus, you opened your arms wide for children and embraced them with your love. Bless, safeguard and nourish your children and direct us to serve those in greatest need of your love.
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you;
Because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

STATION 3: CHRIST FALLS FOR THE FIRST TIME

Reading: Hebrews 4:14-15
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.
FOR WHOM WOULD JESUS HAVE YOU WEEP?
Famine
Reading: James 2:14-17
What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
Prayer: Father, we feel the heaviness of your heart in a world filled with so much suffering. May you bless the work of all organisations who work with integrity in your name bring relief to starving nations. Amen
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you;
Because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

STATION 4: CHRIST MEETS HIS MOTHER MARY

Reading: Luke 2:34-35
Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
FOR WHOM WOULD JESUS HAVE YOU WEEP?
Victims of Domestic Abuse
Reading: 1 Corinthians 13:4-6
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Prayer: O God, we live in a world of brokenness and pain. May you fill us with the love of our wounded Saviour to bring healing to victims of healing. Amen
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you;
Because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

STATION 5: SIMON HELPS CHRIST CARRY HIS CROSS

Reading: Luke 23: 26
As the soldiers led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus.
FOR WHOM WOULD JESUS HAVE YOU WEEP?
Broken Relationships
Reading: Philippians 2:1-2
Therefore, if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.
Prayer: God of love and togetherness, you call us into joyful union with each other. Shine your light into the fractures with our broken relationships and make us whole. Amen
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you;
Because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

STATION 6: VERONICA WIPES CHRIST’S FACE

Reading: Isaiah 53: 2-3
He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
FOR WHOM WOULD JESUS HAVE YOU WEEP?
Those Who Are Grieving
Reading: Psalm 34:17-18
The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Prayer: O merciful Father, you are our comforter in times of grief and sorrow. Wrap your love around those who are grieving and walk alongside the broken hearted. Amen.
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you;
Because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

STATION 7: JESUS FALLS A SECOND TIME

Reading: Lamentations. 3:1-2,9,16
I am the man who has seen affliction under the rod of his wrath; he has driven and brought me into darkness without any light. He has blocked my way with hewn stones, he has made my paths crooked. He has made my teeth grind on gravel, and made me cower in ashes.
FOR WHOM WOULD JESUS HAVE YOU WEEP?
Corruption
Reading: James 5:1,4
Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty.
Prayer: God of Truth, you call us to expose injustice and challenge oppressive structures. Look with pity upon victims of corruption who live with injustice, terror, disease and death. Amen.
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you;
Because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

STATION 8: CHRIST MEETS THE WOMEN OF JERUSALEM

Reading: Luke 23:27-31
A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the childless women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then ‘they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!”
and to the hills, “Cover us!” For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”
FOR WHOM WOULD JESUS HAVE YOU WEEP?
Victims of Cyber Bullying
Reading: Proverbs 6:16-19
There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.
Prayer: God of love, in a world filled with hatred you call us to be instruments of peace and love. May we be messengers of love and kindness to victims of hatred and bullying.
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you;
Because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

STATION 9: CHRIST FALLS A THIRD TIME

Reading: Matthew 16: 24-25
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.
FOR WHOM WOULD JESUS HAVE YOU WEEP?
Victims of Financial Hardship
Reading: 1 Peter 5: 6-7
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Prayer: Generous and living God, you call us to find rest and peace in you. May you richly bless and deliver those who are burdened with debt and grant them peace. Amen.
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you;
Because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

STATION 10 CHRIST IS STRIPPED OF HIS CLOTHES

Reading: John 19: 23-24
When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. “Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.” This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled that said, “They divided my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.”[ So this is what the soldiers did.
FOR WHOM WOULD JESUS HAVE YOU WEEP?
The Homeless
Reading: Luke 14: 13-14
But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.
Prayer: God of tenderness, help us to remember the poor and the destitute. Help us to heal those who are broken in body or spirit and turn their sorrow into joy. Amen.
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you;
Because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

STATION 11: JESUS IS NAILED TO THE CROSS

Reading: Luke 23: 33-34
When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”[a]And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
FOR WHOM WOULD JESUS HAVE YOU WEEP?
Victims of Addiction
Reading: Hebrews 4: 15-16
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Prayer: O Blessed Lord, you ministered to all who came to you. May you fill us with compassion for those who have lost their health and freedom through addiction. Amen.
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you;
Because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

STATION 12: JESUS DIES ON THE CROSS

Reading: Luke 22: 44-46
It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45 for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”[a] When he had said this, he breathed his last.
FOR WHOM WOULD JESUS HAVE YOU WEEP?
Families Devastated by War and Conflict
Reading: Psalm 46: 9-10
He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire. He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, guide the nations of the world into the way of justice and truth. Bring healing and love into the lives and communities torn apart by war and conflict. Amen.
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you;
Because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

STATION 13: JESUS IS TAKEN DOWN FROM THE CROSS

Reading: Mark 15: 42-47
It was Preparation Day (that is, the day before the Sabbath). So as evening approached, Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. Pilate was surprised to hear that he was already dead. Summoning the centurion, he asked him if Jesus had already died. When he learned from the centurion that it was so, he gave the body to Joseph.
FOR WHOM WOULD JESUS HAVE YOU WEEP?
Sufferers of Depression
Reading: Psalm 42:11
Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Saviour and my God.
Prayer: God of understanding and hope, you hear the voices of your sheep lost in the wilderness of depression. Lead us from the darkness of despair into your marvellous light and transform our sadness into joy. Amen.
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you;
Because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

STATION 14: JESUS IS LAID IN THE TOMB

So Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph saw where he was laid.
FOR WHOM WOULD JESUS HAVE YOU WEEP?
Social Isolation
Reading: Hebrews 10:24-25
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Prayer: Almighty God, grant that those who live alone may not be lonely with their solitude. Fill the hearts of those who are isolated with the love and warmth of your Spirit and bless those who are lonely with the gift of friendship. Amen
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you;
Because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.


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