Lent in Nottingham
Stations of the cross
This is a way of the cross for disciples.
A disciple is someone who wishes not only to grow in their relationship with Christ, but also to be used by Christ as a way in which his love, care, compassion, healing, blessing and forgiveness can be shared with others. The disciple is someone who is trying each day to move from a ‘me-centred’ relationship with Christ, to one that seeks to hear and respond to what Christ may be asking of them: ‘Here I am, Lord, I come to do your will’ (Psalm 40).
Pastoral Letter, March 2019 Bishop Patrick, Nottingham Diocese.
We have encountered Christ to live his life in the world. We live His stations of the cross.
We share the stations of the cross as they appear in the gospels. This form is often used on Good Friday at the Colosseum in Rome.
1 The Last Supper
Jesus “I your Lord and Master, have given you an example. Wash one another’s feet as I have washed yours. Love one another as I have loved you.”
Narrator 1 We want to serve, to love.
Narrator 2 But we can never serve others unless we let the Lord serve us first and wash our feet.
Narrator 1 We want to love others
Narrator 2 But we can never love others unless we truly let him love us first.
Narrator 3 Men and women, brothers and sisters, old men and young persons from every tribe and nation and people, priests, leaders, slaves, prisoners, consecrated women, abandoned children, those who care, those who are careless….we are all here, wash our feet so that we can wash each other’s feet as we gather around your table.
Jesus, come and live in us.
Narrator 1 Today I say, Yes Lord.
Yesterdays gone, tomorrow isn’t here yet.
Jesus “Father if it is possible, take this cup from me.”
Narrator Let me take the cup that you offer but don’t let me mix my own poison when you want to offer me a cup of gladness. Don’t let me return your love untasted or when my time comes I will not be strong enough to accept the gift, that, though I may walk in the valley of the shadow of death, will truly lead me to you.
Help me to accept your gifts that I may share them with others.
3 Betrayal of Judas
Narrator 2 Betrayed, with a kiss.
Narrator 4 When I was thirteen my father sold me to a man three times my age. The currency died here when the government fell. He literally took thirty pieces of silver. I ran away. My friends family had moved to the city. We looked in the jobs column, there’s not much you can do when you’re only fourteen. But the ad said we’d be au pairs looking after small children. The man at the agency thought we were just right. We agreed not to tell our families. When the plane landed they were waiting for us outside customs. The man in the first car took my friend, I never saw her again. I said ‘where are we going?’ There was something about the way he smiled at me that told me more than I could understand. My life has been one long drugged betrayal. Betrayed with a kiss.
Jesus, let me be with you, in every person who has been betrayed.
4 Denial of Peter
Jesus “Peter, I tell you solemnly that before the cock crows three times you will deny me.”
Denial 1 I live in China. If I leave the Patriotic Church I will be followed, I could lose my flat, I could lose my job, I have to support my elderly parents, I don’t want to be dismissed from the party, I don’t want the knock on the door at midnight.
Denial 2 I live in the USA. I teach at the Martin Luther King Junior High. Sarah was my friend. She said a prayer to…you know G…O…D She was unemployable in three weeks. My work gives medical coverage to my husband and three children. I can’t do that.
Denial 3 I live in the Middle East. My son is five, they held a gun to his head and said to me, ‘do you worship the Christian God’. And I looked at the other sobbing parents and the other dead children and I said, ‘no I’ve never heard of him’.
Jesus give me the courage to live my faith and support my friends.
5 Mocked, scourged, crowned with thorns.
Narrator 1 If I were accused of being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict me. If I were living the life of Christ I would already have been born in a manger, thought of as crazy, sweated blood in Gethsemane, been betrayed, denied and condemned. Yet even in these things I would be constantly surprised by love, truth, communion, forgiveness and joy.
Please, Lord, for the sake of your sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
6 Condemned to death
I am a man
I am a woman
I live alone
My partner left me
I am a priest
I am a widow
My husband is an alcoholic
My wife is deceiving me and I love her so much
I am a woman consecrated to God
I am a teacher
All We all heard a call from God in our lives, for some of us that call changed all our choices. For others it is the form of service we know God has given us.
I am a nurse.
I am a doctor.
I do odd jobs in other people’s gardens.
I am alone.
All We are all condemned to death and offered the wonder of a new life.
Jesus what do you want me to do?
Narrator 1 I only ever once heard a child abuser speak about his addiction.
Narrator 2 He said, ‘I was just so glad someone stopped me.’
Narrator 1 In the end all compulsive behaviour is diabolic. When we are no longer able to say no, it is not we who are in control of our lives.
Narrator 2 ‘It was like being set aside and imprisoned. I was at the bottom of a pit and I was compelled to go on doing the thing that made me hate myself the most and being forced to enjoy it.’
Narrator 1 The abuser lies to himself, He knows-
Narrator 2 That a child has to accept what comes his way as normal, he has no comparison but he has a sort of conscience that you can twist to your own ends by telling the child it is all his fault.
Narrator 1 and often this protects the perpetrator until the victim is old enough to discover that he is an exception and not the rule.
Narrator 2 Yes. It would have been better for me if I had had a millstone tied around my neck and I had been thrown into the sea.
Narrator 1 Are we part of this?
Voice 1 I was greedy.
Voice 2 I just took things and didn’t pay for them.
Voice 3 I’m nosey by nature.
Voice 4 I’m telling you…
Voice 5 Don’t do what I do, do what I say!
Voice 6 Other people’s secrets are there to be pulled out of them.
Voice 7 It belongs to me.
Voice 8 It’s mine.
Voice 9 I can do what I like.
As your disciple, Jesus, help me to do only what you do.
8 Simon of Cyrene
Simon I can see the child who has fallen under the cross. I really can see the child.
Soldier Oi, you!
Simon I don’t want to get mixed up with the police.
Soldier I said you there.
Simon It’s not mine. Look, contraception is available everywhere. Abortion is highly acceptable, why do these people want to have kids in this day and age if they don’t want to feed them, care for them, teach them, protect them from predators, offer them a future and love them. I mean, why do they have them?
Soldier Get under the other end of the cross. You can see he can’t carry it on his own.
Simon It’s not even my kid.
Soldier He might not be your kid mate, but he’s your responsibility.
Jesus help me to care.
9 Women of Jerusalem
Jesus “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed a child!’
Narrator 1 Sindiziwe, Angel boom, Astrid, Sarah, Siobhan, Fatima, Shareefah, Brunnelinde, Lal, - all veron ikons - true faces.
All We are blessed because we have been invited to be amongst those men and women who will not bear a child. We are the voice of those who pray, God chose us in his love, not because we were perfect, not because we were the best, least of all because we are better than others. He chose us to reveal his love.
Veronika I am Veronika, Gone are the days when a young woman moves from her father’s house to her husband’s - all my schools were mixed - and mixed up, I’ve had to learn from my own experience how not to do things. I wonder if I’m really grown up, if I can really accept my vulnerability, you know ‘liberation’ left men loose and the women to sort out and face the consequences. I’ve had to find a job and keep it. I suppose it’s been a crucible of suffering but I’ve learnt how precious life is. The Lord keeps telling me how much he loves me.
Is this my life with the blessed ones who bear no children, who support each other, who wash the feet of the broken hearted and carry the world in their arms?
I am holding out my headscarf, its not much really but I look into your face Jesus and I know that it is what you have asked me to give.
Women Jesus, we are today’s women, may we mirror your face.
10 Jesus stripped and nailed to the cross
Narrator 1 The committee is still gathering the statistics. This is the stop up the hill on the tram that they don’t announce. Three or even four, out of five people, who have married bear the wounds of domestic violence. Most, but not all, are women. Those who suffer within their own families are nailed by their love and responsibilities and many of them will not get away. Some of them are stripped by the greed, violence and manipulation of the Other who controls them.
Narrator 2 We lay these lives in their defencelessness at the foot of the cross. We just ask you Lord for mercy and the comfort of your Spirit.
Jesus, let us be there for the victims of manipulation and fear.
11 Good thief - the first disciple
Good thief (prayerfully) Jesus remember me when you come into your kingdom.
Bad thief (derisively) Who does he think he is, going around forgiving people? God! God doesn’t exist - and anyway, look at the mess he’s made of the universe - non-stop wars with short intervals in the slave market. What’s me mate done wrong that I didn’t do wrong? Why is he going to heaven? It doesn’t exist anyway.
Good thief (anguished cry) Jesus remember us when you come into your kingdom!
Jesus remember us when you come into your kingdom. Help us when we fail to follow you to remember your mercy and love.
12 Woman, under the cross
Jesus “Mother behold your son.”
Mary Be it done to me according to your word.
He has looked upon His handmaid.
He has scattered the proud, brought down the powerful,
He has lifted up the lowly, filled us with good things,
he has remembered His promise.
The child of the woman has struck the head of the serpent and Zion shall be called Mother.
May we serve you, by doing whatever you tell us.
13 Jesus dies
Narrator 1 Billions of people cover the surface of the earth. Every woman, man and child, born and dead. In the time it will take us to pray these stations of Calvary there will have been 7,500 births and 3,158 deaths in the world. The cross is a thousand light years away from them.
Narrator 2 I am a man walking in an empty space.
Jesus I, your God, have accepted you. I am carrying you in the womb of my being. In sinu patris, I have bought you back. I have carved you on the palm of my hand. You are mine.
Go and sin no more.
Jesus, we want to be your disciples, we put our life and death in your hands, we trust in you.
Narrator 1 There’s no air in the tomb and somewhere from beyond time a voice shouting in my ear, breathe!
Jesus we want to rise with you, you came to give us a new life. New life starts here!
To read the full text of Bishop Patrick’s Pastoral Letter click link below
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