Today the kids and I walked with Jesus for awhile. We joined a group of several hundred other Christians, crosses in hand, and journeyed to four different churches: Methodist, Lutheran, Baptist, and Catholic.
There have been years when I avoided this activity because I was so attached to the services at my parish. This year, however, I was struck by the beauty of the multi-denominationalism of this event. We put aside all our many differences, to remember the thing we have in common - Jesus.
We started with a scripture reading, some prayer and instructions. As we began our journey to the next destination, some musicians were playing and singing. Their first song is one of my favorites.
I'm forgiven, because you were forsaken.
I'm accepted. You were condemned.
I'm alive and well Your spirit lives within me
Because You died and rose again.
Amazing love, how can it be
That You my King would die for me?
Amazing love, I know it's true
And it's my joy to honor You.
In all I do, I honor You.
by Chris Thomlin
It was perfect for that moment and it had me fighting back tears before we started. We walked some major thoroughfares and were mostly supported by the people we passed. In some countries, we could be killed for simply carrying a cross.
We try to keep quiet for the most part but I love when the kids begin to ask questions like, "How far have we walked?" And then they follow that up with, "How far did Jesus have to walk? How heavy was His Cross? Did He walk uphill like this?" The teaching opportunities are limitless.
By the time we ended at the Catholic Church, we had been on our journey for two hours and we still had the Stations of the Cross to go. As we stood and genuflected and kneeled our way through Jesus' journey, stomachs began to growl and bodies got tired. Can you think of a better way to experience the Stations?
Being the busy-body I am, it's often a struggle to devote this kind of time to an activity like this when there's so much to do. With the Cross Walk, I always leave feeling it was time well spent
Today I left, knowing that the kids are old enough that they will remember this as one of our Lenten traditions. I pray that when they are adults, they're still as willing to carry His Cross.