Women of the Passion
by The Rev. Mary Lessmann
Peter denies Jesus for a third time and the cock crows. Pilate washes his hands of Jesus’ death. Simon of Cyrene is conscripted to carry Jesus’ cross. These are iconic moments in the Passion of Jesus Christ…and they all focus on the men surrounding Jesus. But what about the women? In the traditional Stations of the Cross we actually have three stations that focus on women – Jesus meets his mother Mary, Veronica wipes the face of Jesus, and Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem. This is quite significant, as we have to work pretty hard to find the stories of the women in Jesus’ life in the Gospels. But inquiring minds want to know…Jesus touched the lives of so many women – the Syrophoenician woman, the woman with a flow of blood, the bent-over woman. Would women whose lives had been touched in such powerful ways simply say ‘thank you’ and go home to resume their everyday lives? Or would they have joined the company of those following Jesus?
Saint Michael will be presenting Women of the Passion the Monday of Holy Week. This is a Stations of the Cross where all fourteen stations are told from the perspective of a female biblical character. Women of our parish will take on each of these roles. This is a wonderful way to experience the Stations of the Cross in a new way. It is also a great service with which to introduce friends or colleagues to Saint Michael. The service will be 7 p.m. in the church on April 7 – part of our nightly Holy Week offerings.
Week in and week out the women of Saint Michael show up for worship Scripture readings that overwhelmingly focus on men. This is an invitation to the men in our congregation. Come and honor the wonderful women in your life and in this congregation by participating in a worship service overwhelmingly focused on women.
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