The Second Station: Jesus Takes Up His Cross

March 13, 2014 Comments Off on The Second Station: Jesus Takes Up His Cross

"Cross Laid on Him", James MiddletonThis Lent, one of the “disciplines” I have “taken on” is to read along each day with the Lenten meditation booklet from Episcopal Relief & Development. The theme this year is women’s empowerment. In his reflection this Monday, The Rev. Scott Gunn spoke to the tension between some biblical passages—particularly the third chapter of Colossians—and women’s empowerment. What do we do with injunctions which tell wives to be subject to their husbands and instruct slaves to obey their masters? Gunn’s answer is this:

 “Passages such as these … invite a thoughtful reading of the wider context of the gospel message. Jesus reminds us, his followers, again and again that to find our lives, we have to lose them. We have to take up our cross and follow him. We are all servants.The underlying theme—that which undergirds the gospels—is that we must follow Jesus in all we do, that the cross alone is our focus. Whatever earthly relationships we have are governed by God’s more profound desire that we love God and our neighbors. In our various ministries, outside and inside the church, we are called to proclaim and to practice God’s love for every person. That task both invites each of us to be a servant and empowers us all.”

Today we are at the second station; “Jesus takes up his cross.” As in our image of this station, the cross is truly the center, the focal point, and the purpose of this whole journey we are on. Indeed, we may feel in our daily lives as if we have huge crosses to bear—to invoke that well-worn phrase—but this station gives us a space to reflect on what it really means to “take up our cross.” As I enter into this image, what I find most empowering is the boldness of this cross—its centrality and its force. Perhaps we can find strength in its ability to bear some of our own weight, as well. In fact, we don’t have to carry these crosses on our own.

– Julia Stroud

James Middleton painted the Stations of the Cross for the Church of St. Luke in the Fields. Learn more about this series in his artist’s statement.

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