Lent Reflection

Prepare five stations as described below. The Bible readings are from The Message. 

Welcome


Tonight we have come together to spend time reflecting on Jesus’ journey from the Last Supper to his death. We shall do this with readings, both from the Bible and other sources, and with some gentle singing and silence. We will move from station to station.

 

1ST STATION 

A table with a loaf of bread and a chalice of wine placed upon it.  Also on the table are some fruit and the general indication of a meal having taken place.

Reading        Mark 14.22-24

In the course of their meal, having taken and blessed the bread, he broke it and gave it to them. Then he said, Take, this is my body.

Taking the chalice, he gave it to them, thanking God, and they all drank from it. He said, This is my blood, God’s new covenant, Poured out for many people.

 

Silence         

 

During the silence the bread is passed from one person to the next and each

person breaks off a piece and eats it. 

Reading        The One Bread by Jack Osbourn

They were all together in an upper room
Having supper
They all ate a bit off the same loaf
And the symbolism struck them
"We are a gang of chaps, separate individuals
Butnow we have something in common
Because we all contain the same bread"                   

He said "Do this in remembrance of me”
So, whenever they ate bread together,
He would be there
In all their heads simultaneously.
Like parted lovers
Both looking at the moon
And holding close in their minds
He passed round a cup of wine
They all drank from it
One after the other.
And the bread and the wine and the cup
Were symbols of unity forever.

Why don't you try it?
Perhaps in Lent.
It's not just bread and wine you know
There's more to it than that
That's what He meant.

© Sally Fraser and Tessa Wilkinson

Silence

Song              Eat this bread (Songs from Taizé)

Whilst the song is sung people move to the next station.

2ND STATION

Branches of evergreen leaves, a rug, a lantern, and some cushions.

Reading        Matthew 26.36-39

Then Jesus went with them to a garden called Gethsemane and told his disciples, “Stay here while I go over there and pray.” Taking along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he plunged into an agonizing sorrow. Then he said, “This sorrow is crushing my life out. Stay here and keep vigil with me.”

Going a little ahead, he fell on his face, praying, “My Father, if there is any way, get me out of this. But please, not what I want. You, what do you want?”

Silence
 

Reading        From Matthew for Everyone by Tom Wright 

Jesus didn’t want to drink the cup.  He badly didn’t want to. Jesus at this point was no hero-figure, marching boldly towards his oncoming fate… He was a man, as we might say, in melt-down mode. He had looked into the darkness and seen the grinning faces of all the demons in the world looking back at him. And he begged and begged his father not to bring him to the point of going through with it.  He prayed the prayer he had taught them to pray: Don’t let us be brought into the time of testing, the time of deepest trial!

And the answer was No.

Actually, we can see the answer being given, more subtly than that implies, as the first frantic and panicky prayer turns into the second and then the third. To begin with, a straight request (‘Let the cup pass me by’), with a sad recognition that God has the right to say ‘No’ if that’s the way it has to be. Then, a prayer which echoes another phrase in the Lord’s Prayer: if it has to be, ‘may your will be done’. The disciples probably didn’t realize that, when Jesus gave them the Lord’s Prayer, this much of it would be so directly relevant to him. He had to live what he taught. Indeed, the whole Sermon on the Mount seemed to be coming true in him, as he himself faced the suffering and sorrow of which he’d spoken, on his way to being struck on the cheek, to being cursed and responding with blessings. Here, for the second time in the gospel narrative … we see Jesus fighting in private the spiritual battle he needed to win if he was then to stand in public and speak, and live, and die for God’s kingdom.

The shocking lesson for the disciples can, of course, be turned to excellent use if we learn, in our own prayer, to wait with them, to keep awake and watch with Jesus. At any given moment, someone we know is facing darkness and horror: illness, death, bereavement, torture, catastrophe, loss. They ask us, perhaps silently, to stay with them, to watch and pray alongside them.

© Tom Wright 2002 Adapted and used with permission from Matthew for Everyone Part 2 published by SPCK

Silence

Song              Stay with me (Songs from Taizé)

Whilst the song is sung people move to the next station.

3rd STATION

A ‘fire’ made from sticks, a lantern and an image of a cockerel crowing.

Reading        Mark 14.66-72

While all this was going on, Peter was down in the courtyard. One of the Chief Priest’s servant girls came in and, seeing Peter warming himself there, looked hard at him and said, “You were with the Nazarene, Jesus.”

He denied it: “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” He went out on the porch. A rooster crowed.

The girl spotted him and began telling the people standing around, “He’s one of them.” He denied it again.

After a little while, the bystanders brought it up again. “You’ve got to be one of them. You’ve got ‘Galilean’ written all over you.”

Now Peter got really nervous and swore, “I never laid eyes on this man you’re talking about.” Just then the rooster crowed a second time. Peter remembered how Jesus had said, “Before a rooster crows twice, you’ll deny me three times.” He collapsed in tears.

Silence

Reading        The Cockerel Crowed by Tessa Wilkinson

The cockerel crowed
He didn’t whisper,
He didn’t announce the new day quietly
He shouted out
At the top of his voice
For all to hear

It’s a new day
All Peter heard was
You denied me
You denied me
Three times you denied me
The cockerel crowed for all to hear

And as we today hear the story of that denial
We also hear a cockerel crowing every day in our broken lives
And thank God for Peter

© Tessa Wilkinson

Silence

Song              Within our darkest night (Songs from Taizé) 

Whilst the song is sung people move to the next station.

4TH STATION

A large piece of wood with a nail sticking out of it, a hammer, dice in a cup, and a piece of cloth ready to be torn in two are used as follows

Reading        Luke 23.33-34

When they got to the place called Skull Hill, they crucified him…

The nail is hammered into the wood.

Pause…

Jesus prayed, "Father, forgive them; they don't know what they're doing."

Pause…

Dividing up his clothes, they threw dice for them....

Dice are shaken noisily in a cup and thrown to the floor.  The cup is placed is placed next to the dice. 

Pause…   

Reading        Matthew 27.45 & 50-51

From noon to three, the whole earth was dark...

Most of the lights are turned off.

But Jesus, again crying out loudly, breathed his last.

At that moment, the Temple curtain was ripped in two, from top to bottom...

A large piece of cloth is torn in half...

There was an earthquake, and rocks were split in pieces.    

Silence

Song              Lord Jesus Christ (Songs from Taizé)

Whilst the song is sung people move to the last station.

5th STATION 

Reading        John 19.38-42 

After all this, Joseph of Arimathea (he was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, because he was intimidated by the Jews) petitioned Pilate to take the body of Jesus. Pilate gave permission. So Joseph came and took the body.

Nicodemus, who had first come to Jesus at night, came now in broad daylight carrying a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. They took Jesus’ body and, following the Jewish burial custom, wrapped it in linen with the spices. There was a garden near the place he was crucified, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been placed. So, because it was Sabbath preparation for the Jews and the tomb was convenient, they placed Jesus in it.

Silence

Reading        There was no grave grave enough by Stewart Henderson    

Silence

One lit candle is placed in the centre of the people.

Song              Be still (A&M Hymns and Songs for Refreshing Worship)

Everyone leaves quietly in their own time.

 

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