Stations of the Cross

Easter is my favorite time of year, and somewhere inside me is the desire to contemplate and celebrate and garner all that the season has for me. But in all honesty, these days all I can think about is how I am still 4 weeks from being done with this 9 month Marathon of Rotundity (aka pregnancy.) It has gotten old! God give me strength.....
Good Friday
So I needed some help today to reflect on the meaning of Good Friday, and not to spend the day whinging and napping. (Although a good bit of that happened anyway. Sorry, B & G.)
We ended up at a Good Friday service in downtown SC, at the beautiful old red church, Calvary Episcopal, home of 2007's Santa Cruz U2charist, which I attended and blogged about here.
It was a lovely old service, we took G up for a blessing while we took communion; which, at the wooden rail in front of the church on garishly bright blue needlepoint kneelers, was totally novel to me.
The priest with his hand on G's head, praying aloud that bit from the Psalms 'The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make his face to shine upon you and bring you peace. Amen.'-and her little 4 year old voice, 'Amen!' was one of the highlights. I didn't realize that the Good Friday service was one of the oldest liturgies in the church, dating to the 3rd century.......
And then I was off down the block, for something I had been heavily anticipating.
One of the things I love about our church is that it gives a gift each year to the people of our town; on Good Friday. It is a public art exhibit, a rendering of the traditional Stations of the Cross, done by a group of artists from our church community. We erect it right on Pacific Avenue, (aka The Main Drag) and so today I sat, watching people walk by. Actually, plenty of people hurried by, eyes averted, but I was surprised to see how many people stopped and came back, reading through each artist statement, stooping and peering at each station's display.
I was officially there as a docent, though I don't know how much official docenting went on. It was great just to hang out and talk to whomever was around, about anything and everything.
I talked with a woman from Poland who gesticulated wildly about her as she talked. She told me about her Catholic upbringing, singing in church choirs and her current interest in the religions and philosophies of the world. Another woman went out of her way to explain that though she had nothing to do with church or religion, she wanted to thank us for putting on the show. "It has been a profound experience for me" she said.
We just put the pieces out there and let people experience them. There was little to no 'evangivibe', something that apparently helped the Abbey (our church's coffeehouse) win the Metro's Best New Coffeehouse Award. (For whatever that's worth.....) But one of the things that I most love about this event is how incarnational it is. And not in your face.
Us Vs Them
Whether it's been Bible Parades or aggressive street preachers, ranty arguments & passing out Chick tracts-in my experience, growing up in SC as a Christian has been tinged with guilt for not wanting to participate in any of the above activities. (That and not wanting to listen to Amy Grant or Petra. And being bad at volleyball. I don't know how this one crept in to my G.P.S.-Guilty Protestant Subconscious. Youth group outings?) There was usually an element of "let's go witness to 'those crazy people downtown'."
Hey, We Are the Crazies!
But the beautiful thing about this instance is that this time, we are the crazy people downtown, bringing Jesus to where we actually live, letting our 'light so shine before men that they see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven,' in the words of Jesus. It felt good to sit back and give something to our community, no strings attached.
The plan is to set up the stations again at the church for Easter Sunday and to leave them up for a week or so. Since a lot of the exhibits are live (painting, music), there are a few new & different pieces that will be added in their place. B & I were asked (today!) to contribute to one of these new pieces. I am glad to do it, and can hopefully climb out of my Woe-Is-Me-And-My-Belly state in order to do this piece as an act of worship. It's sort of meant to be a secret, I think, so I'll wait to post photos until after it is unveiled on Sunday. (Now isn't that intriguing?)

(Oh, and here's a link to Pastor Dan's blog re: Stations of the Cross, I like how he describes it.)


Blessed said...

What!!! You and Brad had a piece of art and I did not know about it?! I went through the courtyard briefly, but had kids and husband waiting for me, so did not get to look at everything, and (mistakenly) assumed I had seen all the exhibits on Fri when I was downtown too. Shucks! I will be over that way tomorrow, so will go just to see your work. : )

rosa said...

Oh! But you did see it! Did you know that the cross out front (and what we did to it) was the final Station?!

Read Your Way Through the Garden: Choice Tomes From Garden Literature

  • A Book of Salvias by Betsy Clebsch
  • Botany for Gardeners by Brian Capon
  • Making Bentwood Trellises by Jim Long
  • RHS Encyclopedia of Plants & Flowers
  • Rose Primer: An Organic Approach to Rose Selection & Care by Orin Martin
  • Start With the Soil by Grace Gershuny
  • Sunset Western Garden Book
  • Sunset Western Landscaping Book
  • The Book of Garden Secrets by Patent & Bilderback
  • The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Botany
  • the Gardener's Table: A Guide to Natural Vegetable Growing and Cooking by Richard Merrill & Joe Ortiz
  • The Gardener's Year by Karel Capek
  • The Hutchinson Dictionary of Plant Names: Common & Botanical
  • We Made A Garden by Margaret Fish

lotsa latin: rosa's botanical & etymological ruminations

  • vespertinus: flowers in the evening
  • vernalis:spring
  • veni vidi nates calcalvi: we came, we saw, we kicked butt. This was printed on a T shirt I bought at Abbot's Thrift many years ago. It encircled the NEA symbol. I wish I knew why.
  • superciliaris: shaped like an eyebrow ex: sturnella superciliaris, the White-browed Blackbird
  • rosa-sinensis: species of Hibiscus: Hibiscus rosa-sinensis. Lit. Rosa of China, so named by British plant hunters.
  • placentiformis: shaped like a cake ex: discocactus placentiformis
  • nudiflorus: flowers before leaves show ex: flowering quince, magnolia
  • nivalis: growing in or near snow ex: galanthus nivalis (common snowdrop)
  • muralis: growing on walls
  • mirabilis: marvellous, wonderful
  • formosa: beautiful ex: dicentra formosa, a.k.a.western bleeding heart/dutchman's breeches/lady in a bath
  • carpe vitam: get a life
  • Carolus Linnaeus: Latinized name of Carl von Linne (1707-1778), Swedish naturalist considered the father of plant taxonomy. Whatta guy.