I learned about Church Simplified’s Walkway: Reflections on the Stations of the Cross from a friend who gushed about it on Facebook. When I mentioned it to other friends, they were just as excited in telling me about it.
One thing I like about Bonifacio High Street in BGC is that they hold events to highlight holidays and celebrations which is great for home schooling families. I’ve seen the one highlighting Chinese New Year early this year but it was the Great British Festival that got me looking out for more.
We caught last year’s presentation but it was on a Sunday, I think, and the place was too crowded. Huge crowds stress me.
This year, I’ve resolved to taking my kids to see every educational event they hold come bare or crowded, so after dropping off Lukas at Every Nation to attend Children’s service, Pablo, Judah and I went to High Street on an extremely hot Black Saturday to see it. It turned out to be a good time because there weren’t too many people yet. According to a friend there were long lines at each station the night before.
There’s power in this one simple presentation
I’m a minimalist. I like open spaces and direct presentations so I appreciate how simple and bare they laid out the entire presentation.
Each station was patterned like a devotional paired with either a painting which are being sold or an exhibit. The most interesting ones for me are the three-fold cord used to whip Jesus and the dark tunnel that depicts the darkness we experience when our sins lead us away from God.
What gives it more impact is the ray of light that strikes you once you move out the tunnel leading to Mary Magdalene’s station. What a way to illustrate salvation!
Pablo and I took some time discussing the whipping Jesus received from the soldiers as he carried the cross to the hill.
The texts on the boards were very simple and easy to understand. But for kids, it’s better to have an adult there to guide them and explain the things they may not understand right away. For instance, Caiaphas, the central figure at one of the stations, is not as popular to kids as Judas is. I was glad to be there to answer Pablo’s questions and guide him through the questions posed for each station.
As for me, my moment began at Station 7: The Mob.
Unlike the traditional Stations of the Cross which ends with Jesus laying on the tomb in the 14th and last station, Church Simplified’s Walkway: Reflections on the Stations of the Cross concludes with the victory that Jesus has won for us by his resurrection.
Interactive helps people understand better
What makes this project effective is because it’s interactive. You can try to lift a cross to get the idea on how it feels to have one on your shoulders and how much weight Jesus had taken off you by carrying it himself.
You can touch the coins that they had hung, there are guide questions and calls to action, and there’s a station where you can partake of the wine and host as your act of communing with people who share the same faith in Jesus.
Two of the busiest stations were the ones where people had to write something down. One was to write a sin you know you have then you have to nail it on a cross which illustrates that it is our sins that nailed Christ.
At Station 13, you’re asked to write down the name of a person who’s stood by you and loved you throughout your life’s seasons, after which, you’re supposed to pray for the person whose name you wrote down. Pablo wrote down his dad’s name and we prayed for Jay together.
My boss said to me the day before I claimed my holidays that Easter is an emotional time. I agree with him. To us Christians, it is.
I once sat on a gutter, right by a bar that just closed in the wee hours of the morning. I sucked long and hard on a cigarette, searching the skies, wondering how I’ve gotten my life into such a miserable state. Future was bleak, I was lost and knew not how to pick myself up from how low I’ve fallen. I was Mary Magdalene. I was lost, confused, used, alone, rejected and abandoned.
That night, I walked away from the only thing that I thought defined me for all those years.
The next day, I joined a bible study group where I’d been invited so many times in the past by my most trusted friend, Phoebe, and for the first time in my life, I was told that someone like me can be forgiven. That Jesus gave his life so that I, a sinner, can live.
I couldn’ t believe it at first. I couldn’t think of anything else I could possibly do to ruin my life even more than I already had and there they were telling me that I had been forgiven.
They said Jesus loves me and He cares about me. I have hope.
I made the biggest decision I’ve ever made in my life that day— I laid my life at the foot of the cross and surrendered all of my dreams and all of me — every shard of broken glass, to him. To Jesus.
He gave me a new heart, new dreams and has changed the way I see things. He gave me the privilege, not just to make friends, but to share about what He’s done in my life to other people so that they, too, may know Him.
He helped me renew my relationship with my parents and restored friendships I thought I’ve lost for good. He gave me and Jay three wonderful sons and a beautiful family we never imagined we would ever have.
He gave me a new direction and a purpose. He gave me vision and hope. The one they told me about.
He gave me life.
And though at times I weaken, His Word has, time and time again, helped me get up and continue the race.
I have never been the same.
“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full,” John 10:10.
“He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place were he lay.” Matthew 28:6.
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18.