The first three days of this week are preparatory practices for Good Friday: a 3-day, 14-Station “Treasure Hunt” of sorts.
This outline is for use around a family’s home – either inside or out. For a printable version of this outline, go here.
Monday and Tuesday are for creating or finding the focal objects.
Wednesday will be preparing printed materials and/or placing all items at each site.
- Start with prayer:
Let us pray:
Gracious One, today we need to remember your presence with us in our times of sadness, fear, struggle, fragility, and worry.
We are grateful for this story. Let us handle it with respect, with gratitude, and with joyful hope.
Let your light shine within this house. We are ready to see and to be your light in the shadows.
Empowered by your Spirit, we pray. AMEN
- Read the Excerpt to get acquainted with the theme of each Station.
- Create a visual focal point for Friday night’s engagement with each Station, as prompted by each Activity.
- Place your creations and finds in a safe place, ready to put in place on Wednesday night.
- NOTE: YOU DO NOT NEED TO READ THE ENTIRE BIBLE STORY: THE EXCERPT ILLUSTRATES THE THEME OF EACH STATION. TONIGHT IS ABOUT MAKING A VISUAL PROMPT SO THAT ON FRIDAY NIGHT, WHEN YOU DO READ THE ENTIRE TEXT, ALONG WITH A REFLECTION AND PRAYER, YOU HAVE A FOCAL POINT FOR SILENT PRAYER AT EACH STATION.
The Eighth Station Luke 23:27-31
Jesus Acknowledges the Women of Jerusalem
27 A great number of the people followed [Jesus], and among them were women who were beating their breasts and wailing for him. 28 But Jesus turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.”
- Locate a spot in or around your home for the eighth station.
- Jot down that spot and “#8” on a piece of paper.
- Find a movie, book, or artwork that is created by or acknowledges someone in an oppressed community.
- You might do this via online search and print out an image, or you can find an actual hard copy in your home.
The Ninth Station Luke 23:32-38
Jesus Is Crucified
33When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. (NSRV)
- Locate a spot in or around your home for the ninth station.
- Jot down that spot and “#9” on a piece of paper.
- Find a cross. You might have one in your home.
- You might find a couple of sticks and twine or string and make one.
The Tenth Station Luke 23:39-43
Jesus Promises a Condemned Thief Paradise
42 Then [the criminal at his side] said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kindom.” 43 [Jesus] replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
- Locate a spot in or around your home for the tenth station.
- Jot down that spot and “#10” on a piece of paper.
- Find a piece of rope or twine or yarn, symbolizing being bound.
The Eleventh Station John 19:25b-27
Jesus Invites Mary and John into Relationship
26When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” 27Then [Jesus] said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home. (NRSV)
- Locate a spot in or around your home for the eleventh station.
- Jot down that spot and “#11” on a piece of paper.
- Find a picture of a family member who has died or who lives far away.
- If you do not have a picture, maybe you have something that came from or reminds you of them.
The Twelfth Station Matthew 27:45-54
Jesus Dies on the Cross
50Then Jesus cried again with a loud voice and breathed his last. 51At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, and the rocks were split. (NRSV)
- Locate a spot in or around your home for the twelfth station.
- Jot down that spot and “#12” on a piece of paper.
- On one half of the other side of that piece of paper, write the word “LIFE”.
- Let each member decorate around the word “LIFE”.
- While coloring, you might talk about what brings you life.
- Once you are finished, rip the paper in half: one side colorful and full of “LIFE”; one side blank.
The Thirteenth Station Matthew 27:55-58
Jesus Is Taken Down from the Cross
57When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus. 58[Joseph] went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. (NRSV)
- Locate a spot in or around your home for the thirteenth station.
- Jot down that spot and “#13” on a piece of paper.
- Find something that used to be alive, but is not anymore.
- This might be a leaf or a stick or a potted plant.
- Attach the piece of paper to the dead object.
The Fourteenth Station Matthew 27:59-61
Jesus Is Laid in the Tomb
60Joseph took the body and wrapped it in clean linens, put it in his own tomb, a new tomb only recently cut into the rock, and rolled a large stone across the entrance. (MSG)
- Locate a spot in or around your home for the fourteenth station.
- Jot down that spot and “#14” on a piece of paper.
- Find a small, holdable object that is meaningful to the whole family.
- Choose something that represents your life together.
- Wrap the item in a clean small towel or blanket.
Place all of your objects in a basket or bin, along with the papers that indicate their number and the location you chose for that station.
As closure to tonight’s practice, as you place each object in the bin/basket, you might bless it with simple words of gratitude, such as:
“Spirit of Love, we thank you for helping us to remember and pray the story of your love for the world.”
When all the objects are safely stowed away, let each person close their eyes, take a few deep breaths, let them out, and rest until they are ready to move into the next part of the evening.