Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 160 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

My Photo
Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Tuesday, March 05, 2024

Stations of the Cross - Rector's Rambling for March 3, 2024

     As we spend time in Lent looking at the destructive effects of sin in our lives, both how they affect us in the flesh as well as our souls, we do so with a purpose.  That purpose is to place our sins at the foot of the Cross and let the Blood of Jesus wash them away.

“Jesus Christ died on the Cross for our sins”.  This is the only reason we merit heaven.  Eternal Life has been bought for us by the death of Jesus Christ.  We will be reminded of this in the readings on Palm Sunday and on Good Friday.  But it is an awesome act by a loving, sinless, God-made-flesh, that he should die for us.

One poignant way that we remember this gift is by praying the Stations of the Cross.  Every Friday in Lent at noon, we gather in the church and begin a 25 minute journey covering the last hours of Jesus’ life.  We walk as a group, starting at the foot of the steps to the sanctuary, and circumambulate the interior of the nave (seating area).  We stop at each of the 14 Stations to be reminded of that journey Jesus took from his being sentenced to death by Pilate, carrying his cross to his death on Calvary.  At each station we begin by saying, “We adore thee O Christ, and we bless thee, because by thy Holy Cross thou hast redeemed the world.”  Next we hear a description from scripture of a part of that journey, pray a Collect for that portion, and then move on to the next station while singing verses from the ancient hymn Stabat Mater.

At least once in Lent you should take the opportunity to join us to pray the Stations.  It is a powerful reminder of the selfless, loving act that Jesus Christ did for us.  It is so easy to gloss over the crucifixion with a pretty cross or picture.  But spending time meditating on that journey drives home the big reality of God’s love for us.

We have 11:15 AM Mass before, and  Benediction follows, but the Stations are that unique Lenten Devotion that YOU should take advantage of this year to be reminded just how much Jesus loves you.

    Thank you to everyone who has donated to the campaign to purchase new chairs for the Choir Rehearsal Room.  As of the writing of this column we already have donations for 12 of the 24 chairs needed. Please let us know if you would like to contribute for the remaining 12.  The old set has lasted over 60 years, here’s to the next 60, God willing.