The Lenten Cross
Made from the trunk of a Christmas tree, the Lenten Cross reminds us God's love given to us though the birth of Christ.
Throughout Lent we add symbols to the cross.
On Easter Sunday, we bring flowers representing those we would like to remember in our time of worship.
The cross will be transformed from a symbol of death into a symbol of new life.
First Sunday in Lent - Stones
On the first Sunday in Lent as Jesus endures the temptations and decides to put his trust in God of the covenant rather than take the easy or even sensible way we place stones at the foot of our Lenten Cross.
And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.
God of covenant help us not so much to focus on what we ‘give up’ this Lent as on how much we ‘give in’ to your ways. Amen
Second Sunday in Lent - Red ribbon
On the second Sunday in Lent we place a red ribbon round the Lenten Cross as we remember that the call upon Jesus and upon us is not an easy one – it is costly and often counter cultural.
Mark 8 v34 & 35
If anyone wants to follow me he must first forget about himself, take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it but whoever is willing to lose his life for my sake and the Gospel will be saved.
Most holy God, give us the desire to reject evil no matter how profitable or popular it appears, to seek to do the right thing even though it costs us dearly. Amen
Third Sunday in Lent - coins
On this third Sunday in Lent we scatter coins at the foot of the cross to remember the cleansing of the temple.
John 2: 13-16
The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. He told those who were selling the doves, “Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace!”
Help us God to love you and your ways: to respect the wisdom of our elders, protect the lives and reputations of those around us, cherish the relationship entrusted to us, and learn the value of enough. In Jesus name. Amen
Fourth Sunday in Lent - Mothering Sunday
The fourth Sunday in Lent is Mothering Sunday. We place a Methodist Orb on the cross - a symbol that declares that the love of Christ reaches round the globe. It is for all.
John 3 v16 & 17
For God so loved the world that he gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved.
Help us to live God as people who know that we are loved not condemned. Amen.
Fifth Sunday in Lent - Passion Sunday
On this 5th Sunday in Lent Passion Sunday we place some grain at the foot of the cross as Jesus again talks of his death.
John 12 v 23-24
Then Jesus said, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, I say to you, unless the grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much fruit
God of innumerable mercies, give us the grace to be buried daily in the love of Christ, like the seed that is buried in the earth, and thereby to live more abundantly. Amen.
Sixth Sunday in Lent - Palm Sunday
On this sixth Sunday in Lent we attach palms to the Lenten Cross. What kind of King is this?
Mark 11: 8-10
Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields. Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting,
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!"
In this most holy of weeks help us to stay close to Jesus that we may recognise the unfolding work of God. Amen.
On Maundy Thursday we place a towel at the foot of the Lenten Cross – God come among us to serve. How can we do anything less?
John 13 v 4 & 5
Jesus rose from the table, took off his outer garments and tied a towel round his waist. Then he poured some water into a bowl and proceeded to wash the disciples' feet and dry them with the towel.
God of mystery and mercy grant us new life with you as we draw near in remembrance during this journey of Lent. Amen
On Good Friday we attach a sign naming Jesus as ‘King of the Jews’.
So they took Jesus; and carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus between them. Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, ‘Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.’
Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy. Amen.
On this Easter Sunday we bring flowers and place them on the cross. We transform this cross into something which speaks of life and beauty of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead.
Christ is risen - He is risen indeed!