Deans' Note Mar. 7, 2021

We have walked the Stations of the Cross each week during Lent at St. John's for many years. Like all of our Lenten practices, we continue this journey with Jesus digitally this year on Friday March 19 and 26 at 6:30pm.

Walking the Stations began as pilgrims to Jerusalem sought to follow the route Jesus took from his condemnation by Pilate, to the Cross, and finally his burial. But the practice soon spread throughout the Church. While Christians have often walked the stations in outdoor processions, it is far more common to walk the route Jesus walked within the walls of church buildings where images of the events of his last hours are depicted in art.

There are 14 traditional stations used for meditation, some are imagined as what might have happened to Jesus and developed in the tradition -- such as his falling three times, or his meeting a woman named Veronica who wipes his face with her veil. We at St. John's use a shorter version based on moments mentioned in the passion stories in the Gospels.

The stations we use are wonderful abstract original paintings from the New York artist Simon Carr. The images will be highlighted as we stop for each meditation. We invite you to join us as we walk this brief pilgrimage.

Spiritually, following Jesus on his journey to the cross not only highlights his suffering and death for us, but also allows us to invite him into our own life journey and ultimately into our own death, knowing that he walks with us now and into the future. Where have you experienced loss, grief, or accompanied someone else on that journey? The stations give us a time to allow Jesus to be with us in those moments.

Each of the paintings of the stations are dark and abstract, evoking emotions and experiences rather than defined images. There is one last station in the series, a large, bright and dynamic image of the cross transformed -- the station of the resurrection. Here we come in hope for healing, new beginning, and the power of life conquering death and darkness. What better way for us in these days as we glimpse the end of this pandemic and as we know that through the death of Jesus a new world was emerging in a garden just as the sun was rising.