Urban Way of the Cross

   The practice of Holy Week might seem odd to someone unfamiliar with the church. We wave palm branches one Sunday, followed by multiple worship services throughout the week, culminating in a strange mix of eggs, bunnies, candy, and shouts of “He is Risen” on Easter morning. A distant look could make an observer wonder. Today, we probably made people wonder. Nearly 50 people walked a cold mile from Livingston UMC to the Church for All People. We made multiple stops between, carrying a large wooden cross. Some cars honked in solidarity, others just went on their way. 

While an observer might wonder what all of this is about, I left this experience more fully understanding the connection of suffering and hope in this life and in the life of Christ.  

  Throughout the journey, we heard this theme. From physical healing to enduring racism, from given healthcare to needed housing, from the tragic loss of a friend who now gives his name to a garden, to people who touch grace in meals eaten and clothing received, suffering and hope presented themselves like folded hands intertwined together. 

In our culminating service, familiar words were read and sung,  candles extinguished, burdens placed on a cross, and a community rededicated itself to accompanying one another on a journey of suffering and hope. 

  On this Good Friday, we united as one community, one with our Chtistian sisters and brothers around the world who remember Jesus’ passion, and united with the crucified and risen Christ who lived suffering and hope. 

May we all continue in this journey together, may we all see each other as one, and may we know that God is one with us in our suffering and hope.


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