The wall of bricks during Lent is a visual symbol of the nebulous walls that we create when we stop connecting with God and with one another… when we start turning ourselves inward. Walter Brueggemann, author of our Lenten study Sabbath as Resistance, talks about living in a world at "brick making speed" when we are always producing and always in this productivity mode and we don't take time to rest, which prevents us from being the neighbors that God calls us to be. So the wall was built up as a visual representation of what it looks like when walls begin to prevent us from doing the things we would normally do… such as worship in a regular way.
Thanks to Sara for serving and organizing the BloodCenter of Wisconsin blood drives these past 11 years!
We give thanks for our newly commissioned Stephen Ministers, who provide Christ-centered care and support to people experiencing grief and other life difficulties.
God, who abounds in mercy and steadfast love, allowed himself to be broken on the cross so that you may know complete forgiveness despite your sins. In the name of Jesus Christ, your sins are forgiven. By grace you are made whole. Amen.
More photos from this past Sunday at firstlu.org/photos.
A thank you to all the Sunday School youth for sharing the message of Jesus' birth with us last night! And thank you to all the teachers, helpers and musicians who shared their time and energy with the youth!
In 2014 First Lutheran studied the scriptural stations of the cross as part of their Lenten devotions. As part of the devotions, 14 artistic members of First Lutheran were asked to create work, one for each station. The slideshow below showcases their work. A PDF of the devotion that contains their artwork can be download by click here.
A note on the Scriptural Stations of the cross…
Since ancient days, those who make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem to be where Jesus was, and to walk where he walked have been quite intentional about following the “Way of the Cross” otherwise known in Latin as “Via Dolorosa”. As a pilgrim followed the path, she would stop fourteen times for prayer: to remember Jesus condemned to death, Jesus meeting his mother along the road, Simon of Cyrene taking the cross for him, 3 falls of Jesus along the way, the crucifixion, death, and eventually his entombment. Each stop along the way became known as a ‘station’ of the cross. Since most Christians couldn’t make a pilgrimage all the way to Jerusalem, churches started to commission artwork to bring the stations into their sanctuaries. Many Roman Catholic churches have 14 stations around their nave so that anyone can prayerfully follow the ‘way of the cross’. The problem with the stations is that some of them are not found in Scripture. Jesus, for example, never falls with the cross in any of the gospels. The stations fell out of favor with Protestants during the Reformation for this very reason, as we believed all devotion must be centered in the Word. On Good Friday in 1991 Pope John Paul II issued scriptural stations of the cross which are the basis for this booklet. From the Garden of Gethsemane to the tomb, these stations make use of all four gospels so that we may follow the final steps of Jesus as he made his way to the cross.