This is a service of five stations, meant to help us think and pray about the journey to Jerusalem that Jesus and his disciples chose to make.  It’s about risk, and courage, and following in the way of Jesus. In our worship life here at Eden Seminary, we shared this service on the Monday of Holy Week, which put it out of sync with the entrance into Jerusalem of Palm Sunday.  It might be useful for the Sunday before Lent, or a service during the week before Palm Sunday. 

In our version, we began inside, stopped at a few stations outside, and ended in the chapel.  No one had printed materials except the readers, until we distributed music for the closing song.

Introduction / Station I

Greeting/Explanation

  • “When the days drew near for him to be taken up,” writes the author of Luke’s gospel, “He set his face to go to Jerusalem.” (Lk. 9:51)
  • More than one of the gospels is constructed to follow Jesus and his disciples as they travel from Galilee to Jerusalem, leading up to the events of Holy Week.
  • Today we’re going to walk with them on that journey, as they move with purpose toward danger. We’ll listen in on some of their discussions on the road, and hear about the choices they made.
  • There are bits and pieces of different gospels here, arranged to help us consider our own journeys as followers of Jesus. Some familiar parts are missing, such as the parts where Jesus knows exactly what’s going to happen to him.  Some parts you may not recall having heard before – a sentence or two that the lectionary passes over.
  • We’ll be making a pilgrimage of sorts, going out in search of God, stopping at several spots on our way to Jerusalem (and to the chapel).
  • In each location, listen for a word of scripture, responding with “Thanks be to God.” Listen as we join in prayer, responding with your own “Amen.” And then learn the next verse that we will sing as we walk.
  • We join Jesus and the disciples as they consider leaving Galilee and going to Bethany, just outside Jerusalem.

 

Scripture (John 11:1-3, 8-16)

Reader 1:
A reading from the eleventh chapter of John’s gospel.

Reader 2:
Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus, of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.

Reader 1:
Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair; her brother Lazarus was ill.

Reader 2:
So the sisters sent a message to Jesus, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.”…

Reader 1:
Then after this Jesus said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.”

Reader 2:
The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the [people] were just now trying to stone you, and are you going there again?”

Reader 1:
Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight?
Those who walk during the day do not stumble,
because they see the light of this world.  But those who walk at night stumble,
because the light is not in them.”  After saying this, he told the
“Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to awaken him.”

Reader 2:
The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will be all right.”

Reader 1:
Jesus, however, had been speaking about [Lazarus’s] death,
but they thought that he was referring merely to sleep.
Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead.
For your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe.
But let us go to him.”

Reader 2:
Thomas, who was called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples,
“Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

Reader 1:
Holy wisdom, holy word.      (All) Thanks be to God.

 

Opening Collect (Liturgist)
Let us pray.
Compassionate One, God of Mary and Martha,
of friendship and of new life,
in this season, grant us firm resolve.
Show us how to use our twelve hours of daylight,
not simply so that we may die with Jesus,
but so that we may join in his healing ministry, in spite of the risks.
Amen.

 Song teaching: “I Want Jesus to Walk with Me”
(Cantor teaches verse, signals crucifer, procession begins.)

Procession to Station II
(Crucifer leads the procession, stops and turns to face the congregation at the next stop.)

Station II

(As soon as all have gathered, begin the reading.)

Scripture Reading: John 11:45-48, 54-57

Reader 2:
A reading, also from the eleventh chapter of John’s gospel.

Reader 1:
Many of the [people] who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did [for Lazarus], believed in him.
But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what he had done.

Reader 2:
So the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the council, and
said, “What are we to do? This man is performing many signs.
If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him,
and the Romans will come and destroy both our holy place and our nation.”

Reader 1:
Jesus therefore no longer walked about openly among the [people],
but went from there to a town called Ephraim in the region near the
wilderness; and he remained there with the disciples.

Reader 2:
Now the Passover[…]was near, and many went up from the country to
Jerusalem before the Passover to purify themselves. They were looking for
Jesus and were asking one another as they stood in the temple,

Reader 1:
“What do you think? Surely he will not come to the festival, will he?”

Reader 2:
Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders
that anyone who knew where Jesus was should let them know,
so that they might arrest him.

Reader 1:
Holy wisdom, holy word.     (All)Thanks be to God.

 

Collect (Liturgist)
Let us pray.  O Steadfast One, God of wisdom and wilderness,
as we pause here for a moment
we can hear you calling us to stand with those who suffer,
calling us to stand against cruel expedience.
And so we ask for both daring and prudence,
that we may be wise as serpents and innocent as doves in the days ahead.
Remain with us, we pray in Jesus’ name.  Amen.  (All)Amen.

 Song teaching: “I Want Jesus to Walk with Me”, vs. 2

Procession to Station III 

          

 

Station III

Scripture Reading: Luke 13:22, 31-35

Reader 1:
A reading from the thirteenth chapter of Luke’s gospel.

Reader 2:
Jesus went through one town and village after another,
teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem.

Reader 1:
At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him,
“Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.”

Reader 2:
He said to them, “Go and tell that fox for me,
‘Listen, I am casting out demons and performing cures today and tomorrow,
and on the third day I finish my work.

Reader 1:
Yet today, tomorrow, and the next day I must be on my way,
because it is impossible for a prophet to be killed outside of Jerusalem. ‘

Reader 2:
Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets
and stones those who are sent to it!
How often have I desired to gather your children together
as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!

Reader 1:
See, your house is left to you.
And I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say,
‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. ‘”

Reader 2:
Holy wisdom, holy word.  (All) Thanks be to God.

 

Collect (Liturgist)
Let us pray.  Mothering One, you who are always trying
to gather your brood under your wings,
Generation after generation, century after century,
your prophets are more often stoned than not,
more often arrested than acclaimed,
more often shot than sheltered.
And yet you send them, out of your great compassion.
Grant that we, too, may cast out demons of callousness and greed,
that we, too, may perform small acts of healing
today, tomorrow, and in the days ahead,
so that we may continue the work
of the one who came in your name,
in whose name we pray.  Amen.  Amen.

Song teaching: “I Want Jesus to Walk with Me”, vs. 3

Procession to Station IV 

 

 

Station IV  

Scripture Reading: Luke 9:23-27

Reader 2:
A reading from the ninth chapter of Luke’s gospel.

Reader 1:
Then he said to them all, “If any want to become my followers,
let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.

Reader 2:
For those who want to save their life will lose it,

Reader 1:
and those who lose their life for my sake will save it.

Reader 2:
What does it profit them if they gain the whole world, but lose or forfeit themselves?

Reader 1:
Those who are ashamed of me and of my words,
of them the [Human One] will be ashamed when he comes in his glory
and the glory of [God] and of the holy angels.

Reader 2:
But truly I tell you,
there are some standing here who will not taste death
before they see the kingdom of God.”

Reader 1:
Holy wisdom, holy word.  (All) Amen.

 

Collect  (Liturgist)
Let us pray.
Courageous One, God of generosity and glory,
Help us to follow Jesus.
Help us to love without lists of criteria,
to live and work in solidarity without neighborhood boundaries,
to put our bodies on the line,
and to carry the heavy beams of vulnerability and risk —
not so much for the goal of dying gloriously,
but so that we may lose all that keeps us from communion with  you and with others,
and see with our own eyes
your kin-dom of justice and compassion
even before we have tasted death.
We pray in the name of the one who calls us onward. Amen  (All)Amen.

Song teaching: “I Want Jesus to Walk with Me”, vs. 4

Procession to Station V

 

Station V

(Sheet music for “Woyaya” is distributed as people enter the chapel.)

            Scripture Reading: Mark 13:9, 11-13

Reader 2:
A reading from the thirteenth chapter of Mark’s gospel.

Reader 1:
“As for yourselves, beware; for they will hand you over to councils;

Reader 2:
and you will be beaten in synagogues;

Reader 1:
and you will stand before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them. […]

Reader 2:
When they bring you to trial and hand you over,
do not worry beforehand about what you are to say;
but say whatever is given you at that time,
for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.

Reader 1:
Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child,
and children will rise against parents and have them put to death;

Reader 2:
…and you will be hated by all because of my name.
But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

Reader 1:
Holy wisdom, holy word.  (All) Thanks be to God.

 

Collect  (as music begins)
Let us pray.
Blessed one!
God of Syria and of Stockholm,
God of Tanta and Alexandria Egypt,
God of Turkey and the Korean Peninsula,
God of city hall and the halls of congress,
God of the boardrooms and the borderlands,
God of the north side and the south side,
Help us to stand before governors and rulers and hear the Spirit’s whisper,
Help us to endure, still spreading your grace to the end.
Most of all, help us to seek and share abundant life for all
that our lives may be a testament
to the one who turned his face toward Jerusalem,
for it is in his name that we pray.  Amen. (All)Amen.

Song teaching: “Woyaya”
(Go through it enough times that the mood can shift and the Spirit can move.)

Announcements
“As we go forth to follow Jesus, are there any announcements for the good of the ministries in which we are engaged?”

Bendiction (Liturgist)

Go forth in the joy of believing
to follow in Jesus’ way of kindness, fairness, and honesty.
And may God grant you the thrill of an argument undertaken in love,
the rush of a rallying cry for laws that serve the most vulnerable,
and the satisfaction of a day spent deep in the work of the Spirit.
Go in courage, and in peace!  Amen!

Postlude (“Woyaya,” instrumental)

 

 

Photo of Syrian refugees by Aris Messinis

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