Instead of the usual Good Friday church service, this year we did something new – a modern version of the stations of the cross. The Good Friday service is one of my favourites, so I wasn’t sure about this new event, but when I was asked to help out of course I was more than willing to pitch in and lend a hand. I had no idea what the stations of the cross even were, but as soon as we started setting up last Wednesday, I knew it would be special. Twelve stations throughout the church would take people through from the beginning of the earth to Jesus coming onto the scene, to the crucifixion and resurrection.
The station that I staffed on Good Friday was the ninth of twelve, called “It Is Finished.” At this station, you entered a dark, quiet room where a table of candles was set up. You read some scripture and words about the end of the crucifixion, including Jesus’ final words, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”
At that point, you were invited to blow out a candle, to signify Jesus’ death.
It was absolutely special and moving to be a part of this. While my interaction with those going through the experience was minimal – in fact, mostly what I did was silently show people into the room, and then slip in quickly and quietly between visitors to add more candles as those already lit were blown out – but it was so incredibly neat to be there as nearly 200 people took part in it. Because it was such an interactive experience (at other, prior stations, people were asked to mimic the actions of a whipping and then actually hammer a nail into wood), it was also emotional. Several people emerged from my station teary-eyed; several more looked at me with surprise in their eyes, expressing without words that it was a powerful and meaningful event for them.
I’m grateful any time I can be a part of something at the church, grateful that I can help out and even that they would ask me to. Serving my church community is an important way for me to connect with God and my friends in faith, and I look for every opportunity to do so. I didn’t even go through the twelve stations on Good Friday, but at the end of it I felt as though I had been through something just as meaningful as those who did.