Thursday, April 3, 2014

Lenten Prayer Station

Lent is the 40 day period leading up to Easter when we consider the passion story of Jesus. It is a contemplative time when we yearn for God. 

In worship at Mission Bay Community Church we are participating in a lenten prayer station. 

During our time of confession, we consider the ways we have intentionally or unintentionally wronged each other or God. We write down those confessions and our burdens on a piece of paper and then bring them forward to the communion table to nail them to the cross.

The nailing is symbolic. The sound poignant. Nails going into wood reminds us of the violent truth that Jesus was nailed to the cross - crucified - by the brokenness and sin of the world. 

Each Sunday, we will nail our prayers of confession to the cross and then on Easter we will let go of those confessions and the cross will be cleaned and covered with flowers. 

Life, death and resurrection frame the rhythm of our lives and our faith journeys. By participating in this lenten prayer station, we are remembering how Jesus takes our burdens from us and washes us clean. We practice dying to our sin (to the burdens that we carry) and rising to new life in Christ. 

Side story:

I often have these creative ideas, but then have no clue how to actually make them happen. This idea in particular came in conversation with our intern Lacey as we considered what to do in worship to liturgically and physically process Lent. 

I admit I thought it would be easy. Grab two pieces of wood, put them together and wa-la! Creative prayer station.

Well..let’s just say it’s not that easy. This is where my husband Tim really becomes my knight in shining armor. He listened patiently to my idea and then asked a few questions:

(1) How do you plan to attach the two pieces of wood into a cross?
( 2) Do you want it to stand upright?

As soon as he started talking about circular saws and a special rod to create the perfect stand I knew I was way out of my league. He then took the lead. 

We went to an awesome recycling store and recovered wood:

Tim cut the wood, sanded it, and made the two pieces fit perfectly. 

He created a stand so this hefty cross stands on it’s own. 

He even helped me think through the types of nails we would need and how and where to hammer in the sanctuary so we didn’t harm anything or anyone :)

This lenten station has been really cool because it has brought in more of our senses. 

We use our minds and hearts to write down our burdens and sins.
Our hands to nail.
And our ears to take in the sound.

It's one way we are making our invisible faith more visible. One way we are making our faith particular, concrete, involving us in our physical world here and now. 

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