We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you;
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
They led him away to crucify him. As they were going out, they found Simon, a man from Cyrene. They forced him to carry his cross. (Matthew 26:31-32; context)
This Holy Week we are be meditating on the fourteen “Stations of the Cross.” The Opening and Sending sections of this week’s Devos, as well as the italicized verses at the end of each station come from the Episcopal “Way of the Cross” service found in the Book of Occasional Services. (If you’d like to hear the complete work before Friday, check out the music page.)
Station 5: The Cross is laid on Simon of Cyrene
A stranger comes from the country,
Simon by name;
As they lay the cross on him,
He sees a flame
In Jesus’ eye which seems to say:
“Take my yoke and learn from me,
Take your cross and follow me,
And I will be with you.
Search your heart and yearn for me
And no longer hollow be
For I have already filled you.
“Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me:
Cannot be my disciple.”
Station 6: A woman wipes the face of Jesus
A woman walks out from the crowd,
Damp cloth in hand;
As she wipes his sweaty brow,
She beholds a man
Acquainted with grief, a man of sorrows.
His appearance is so marred
But intact is his soul,
Which bears our total rejection.
For our transgressions is he scarred;
By his passion we are whole,
And with his stripes we are healed.
“Restore us, O Lord God of hosts:
Show us the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.”
Dear God, your holy Son walked the way of the cross with the help of a stranger. Give me the courage to invite the other into my life for our mutual benefit and for your greater glory. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.
I leave this moment with you, God, glorying in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom is our salvation, our life, and resurrection.