Lenten Walk

Our church office is currently closed, so you can follow along with the Lenten Walk online with us! To see the latest on church office hours and continuing activities, visit our safety page.  If you prefer to participate virtually, you can "walk" through the stations here.  We will post a new station every few days leading up to the liturgical Easter Sunday.  


A contemplative practice for the season of Lent
Just as the followers of Jesus walked the countryside with Him, you are invited to walk with Him both again and for the first time during your Lenten practice. If you ‘gave something up’ or ‘added to your discipline practice’ for this Lent, we hope you fit the walk into your schedule.
This is a self-guided tour with directions posted at each station or ‘Oasis’. The first stop is the back window on the north side of the sanctuary, progressing to the front of the sanctuary ending at the Ark of the covenant under the red lantern.
Each oasis (or station) has a theme and directions leading you to a guided meditation that will be reinforced by objects that you may interact with as you ponder the meaning this place has on your personal spiritual journey.
Preparation for your journey is simple- bring only an open mind and heart ready to encounter and receive God’s love and willing to let go of those things that may hinder your receiving His gift.
You are free to plan and pace your walk however you want.  As mentioned above, we will be posting new stations every few days on our website and social media.  You are invited to spend any amount of time at each oasis however it is advised that you terry a bit longer after you think you are finished to let your spirit settle and prepare for the next leg of your journey. 
It is also recommended that you walk the oasis in order 1-6 to allow continuity of the themes of each station as they build on each other. At the first station you will start your walk ( located at the back end of the North wall of the sanctuary) and continue through each window station ending at the large wooden ark under the red lantern. As you journey you will realize that you are moving to the front of the sanctuary, to the baptismal font, the Pentecost window with the red flames, and to the communion table where your Lenten journey would typically cumulate with holy communion on Easter Sunday.  Although you are not in our Sanctuary during this virtual walk, we invite you to do your best to put yourself in that sacred space as though you were there. 
As with all trips we often forget or jumble the details in our raw memory. To help remember (“re order” your journey members) you are welcome to write about your travels. If you keep your own journal please feel free to use it as you virtually walk.  You can even use a word document or notes feature if that's easier for you.  In your journal you may wish to write, draw, note some wisdom or monitor your insights as you walk with Jesus this season.

Station 1 - Sand

As we start our journey we head to the desert as Jesus did after His Baptism.  While Jesus resisted sin/temptation during his desert time we each come burdened with a history of our” failures”, be they sins, burdens that we carry of those things we feel we didn’t  do well enough or just plain old grief that visits each of us in the fallen world.

It is not wise to start any journey with heavy baggage - the weight of unforgiveness – of ourselves or others. So at this first station, pause in your plan to journey farther and welcome the gift of grace in the wounded places of your heart.

Write a word, name, symbol of that burden, baggage you carry in the sand. Allow yourself time to imagine walking without this weight on your heart. When you are ready- with the love of a compassion beyond our understanding rake the sand clean of your mark.

Station 2 - Rock

The path we travel is often hard, and we face unexpected difficulties and hardships- like rocks on our path. These often turn into blessings and places where we grow in our trust and our faith deepens. Consider also that it is the house built upon a rock that stands against the storms of life. And sometimes we can become hard hearted and bitter when we can see no good future and we allow our hearts to become hard as a rock.

Take time to envision what can happen if we allow God to bless all the rocks of our life. To find wisdom through an unexpected hard time, to strengthen your foundation, or to soften your hardened heart; consider what might happen if His sweet oil is poured upon the hard places, how might it become an anointing in our way of living? How might we better include EVERYTHING and turn our stones into spiritual bread? Expect the unexpected as your journey continues and you begin to anoint all the rocks you come across them.

Pour the grape oil over the rock- observe it change in color and see how it now reflects a deeper hue of color, richer and more defined. Notice that the oil is pressed from the same fruit that Jesus used during the last supper to feed his disciples. How else might we anoint our journey together?

Station 3 - Shells

The sea shell, especially the scallop shell, is an ancient symbol of baptism. Lent began as a time to prepare new Christians and instruct them in the faith culminating in baptism on Easter,

When Jesus was baptized God spoke to him saying “you are my beloved son in whom I am well pleased”.  In baptism you are also received as God’s beloved child.

Pick a shell that reminds you of yourself- maybe a broken or chipped one, perhaps a warn one, or one which makes a good presentation…Hold your empty shell tenderly as a precious child, and allow this title “beloved” to fill your empty heart and become real.

Station 4 - Human Comfort & Touch

Just as Jesus experienced fully what it was to be human in a physical body He experienced the lonesomeness that we also encounter. He offers us a unique companionship in His promise to be with us even to the ends of the world. With titles like “friend” and “beloved” have the courage to claim the personal relationship you have been gifted. Even more personally you are offered comfort in the times of your deepest need, to be held by the Holy Spirit.

Sit in the stillness of the safe sanctuary, wrap yourself in the arms of your caring and gentle friend, and simple be at peace knowing that you are safe in His arms…..and will be for eternity.

Station 5 - Seed and Butterfly

One of the greatest mysteries in life is life itself- the cycle of harvest and planting, of growth and transformation. How a seed must die in order to bring to fruition more of its own kind, how a butterfly comes from a caterpillar which seems nothing like its final beauty. More think of the abundance of God, how we are offered harvest from seed we did not plant and how we plant not expecting that our own hands will harvest, but plant anyway because we are establishing our place as part of a greater scheme.
Examine the variety of seeds, each with the capability for reproducing after its own kind. Chose one, imagine the possibilities within this one seed. The perfection of that potential. Now look in the mirror and see the possibility of a mature you that is carried in the divine imprint of your being. Each of us is called to be the best impression of our own potential, and no other. Just as a corn seed will not produce an apple, so we are to follow the design our gifts and graces within to nurture our growth to become fully developed human.

Station 6 - Sparrow on Ark

We have journeyed through the season of Lent and have come to the place where the holy things are. In the sealed box God commended the Hebrews to place the sacred things that remind them of Him so they would not forget. But what reminds God of us? How are we remembered by the divine? We were told that God has his eye on the lilies of the field and on the sparrows of the air, how much more is His care for us!
We are about to enter into Holy Week when Jesus will be celebrated, martyred, and will rise again, Each of us will be a bystander, a witness, and a participant as we make room for the resurrection story in our hearts or as we simply walk through yet another year of Easter looking for a spring to end the winter and hoping summer will be more carefree. Take just a moment and consider what you treasure, how you store it, hide it, lock it away, or hold onto it tightly. Look and see what it is that God treasures, far more than the objects in a safe box, the robes thrown at His feet or the gilded decorations of our sanctuary.
See the sparrow not caged in a box but set free to fly into the creation of a new spring, and to sing its song of a new morning that has broken and to be its witness. Find the song that your loving Addy has placed in your heart and go sing it , it is the good news of the dawning, of the candles that chase away the darkness, and the savior who has conquered death and offers you new life as well.