by Bill Wolbrecht
This worship experience, designed for use during Lent, loosely follows the ancient “Stations of the Cross” devotion, which developed out of a desire on the part of medieval Christians to retrace in faith the last hours of Jesus’ life. In the Scripture readings these “Crisis Stations” will touch some events in those last hours, as well as other crises during Jesus’ public ministry, and relate them to our own crises and those in the lives of others. As is traditional, the “Voice of Jesus” is heard at each “Station.” Suggestion: to underscore a major thrust of this service–that we are ALL to be Jesus to our neighbor–have a different person read each “Voice of Jesus.”
Let the Spirit work as you prepare for this service. Use a combination of posters, banners and slides to depict the various themes of the “Crisis Stations.” You may want to provide the opportunity for a “journey” of sorts, a cross-led procession from “Station” to “Station,” having your posters/banners in various parts of the church. In your planning, consider especially the elderly. They love youth-led services, but they may have difficulty in moving from place to place, particularly if the movement is up and down a lot of stairs. So if elderly folks will be involved in your service, plan your “Stations” to make it as easy as possible for them to participate.
At each station, sing a verse or chorus of a song or hymn before moving to the next station. Consider using a Lenten hymn with multiple verses. You can use the Lutheran Service Book to find hymns, or consider the lists of contemporary worship songs found at http://www.lcms.org/page.aspx?pid=524.
Many things are happening and being said in these “Stations,” but two things must be underscored. First, it’s okay to feel the things we feel in the midst of various crises. It’s at that point that Jesus touches us with His healing power and presence. Secondly, this service, ultimately, is not the retelling of Jesus’ journey to the cross, but a strong reminder of OUR need for constant cross-bearing and dying as the only true way to real and abundant life. Otherwise, we are just pretending that Easter didn’t happen.
CRISIS (kri ‘ sis) “…a turning point in the course of anything;
a decisive or crucial time, stage, or event…”
CHRIST (krist) “…the Anointed One, the turning point of every crisis,
bringing hope to despair, life out of death, and meaning to that life…”
Download a PDF of Worship: Christ in the Midst of Crisis.