05 April 2023
Praying at the Stations of the Cross in
Lent 2023: 5 April 2023 (Station 11)
This final week in Lent is known as Holy Week, and Wednesday in Holy Week is some times known as Holy Wednesday or, in some places as Spy Wednesday. In these two weeks of Passiontide this year, Passion Week and Holy Week, I am reflecting in these ways:
1, Short reflections on the Stations of the Cross, illustrated by images in Saint Dunstan’s and All Saints’ Church, the Church of England parish church in Stepney, in the East End of London, and the Roman Catholic Church of Saint Francis de Sales in Wolverton, which I visited for the first time last month;
2, the Gospel reading of the day in the lectionary adapted in the Church of England;
3, a prayer from the USPG prayer diary.
Station 11, Jesus is Nailed to the Cross:
The Eleventh Station in the Stations of the Cross has a traditional description such as ‘Jesus is nailed to the Cross.’
When I put in a search for Nails on Google, trying any of the towns I have lived in, I get endless lists of nail bars offering glamorous treatments that I am never going to contemplate or need.
But there is nothing glamorous about the nails and hands in Station XI in these Stations of the Cross in Stepney and Wolverton.
In this station in Stepney, the scene is awkward. Christ is pale and worn out as he is nailed to the cross by two men, one holding down his shoulders, the other nailing his feet to the foot of the cross, Christ’s crown of thorns still bruising his head, as three other men watch on.
The words below read: ‘Jesus is Nailed to the Cross.’
The scene is equally traumatic in Wolverton where one figure grips Christ by the shoulders while as a lone figure brutally holds aloft a hammer in one hand and the nail he is trying to drive into one foot in the other hand. A third man observes the proceedings coldly, without emotion or reaction. Christ’s eyes are filled with pain, yet waiting for more pain.
The words below read: ‘Nailed to the Cross.’
John 13: 21-32 (NRSVA):
21 After saying this Jesus was troubled in spirit, and declared, ‘Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me.’ 22 The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he was speaking. 23 One of his disciples—the one whom Jesus loved—was reclining next to him; 24 Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. 25 So while reclining next to Jesus, he asked him, ‘Lord, who is it?’ 26 Jesus answered, ‘It is the one to whom I give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.’ So when he had dipped the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas son of Simon Iscariot. 27 After he received the piece of bread, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, ‘Do quickly what you are going to do.’ 28 Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. 29 Some thought that, because Judas had the common purse, Jesus was telling him, ‘Buy what we need for the festival’; or, that he should give something to the poor. 30 So, after receiving the piece of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.
31 When he had gone out, Jesus said, ‘Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. 32 If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once.’
The theme in this week’s prayer diary of the Anglican mission agency USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel) is ‘Good Neighbours in Times of War: a View from Europe.’ This theme was introduced on Sunday by the Ven Dr Leslie Nathaniel, Archdeacon of the East, Germany and Northern Europe, with an adaptation of his contribution to USPG’s Lent Course ‘Who is our neighbour,’ which I have edited for USPG.
The USPG Prayer Diary today (Wednesday 5 April 2023, Wednesday in Holy Week) invites us to pray:
Let us pray for the work of the European chaplaincies. May they support one another and be strengthened to continue their work amongst those traumatised by war and conflict.
Almighty and everlasting God,
who in your tender love towards the human race
sent your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ
to take upon him our flesh
and to suffer death upon the cross:
grant that we may follow the example of his patience and humility,
and also be made partakers of his resurrection;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Lord Jesus Christ,
you humbled yourself in taking the form of a servant,
and in obedience died on the cross for our salvation:
give us the mind to follow you
and to proclaim you as Lord and King,
to the glory of God the Father.
Stations of the Cross in Stepney, Wolverton and Stony Stratford (Photographs: Patrick Comerford)
Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition copyright © 1989, 1995, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org
Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)
Post a Comment