As soon as it was morning, the chief priests, with the elders and scribes, and the whole council, held a consultation; and they bound Jesus and led him away and delivered him to Pilate. And they all condemned him and said, “He deserves to die.” When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called the Pavement, but In the Hebrew, Gabbatha. Then he handed Jesus over to them to be crucified.
As Jesus was unjustly condemned, many people the world over are created to enjoy life, but are systematically condemned to death.
Oppression means to press down; to weigh heavily on the spirit and the senses; to feel mentally, physically, emotionally weighed down, bound, constricted.
Examples of oppressions are: racism, anti-semitism, classism, homophobia, ageism, sexism, ableism, speciesism.
When we prepare to repent of our sins of oppression, we ask ourselves: What diminishing lies have each of us been taught about others?
In the 20th century, we can name an appalling litany of oppressed peoples. Just to begin: Jews in Nazi Germany; Armenians and Azerbaijanis’ relations with each other; people of color in the U.S.; Tibetans in China; Mayan Indians in Central America Ethnic cleansing in Bosnia Palestinian peoples denied rights in the Occupied Territories of Israel. Kurds In Iraq. Cambodians in Vietnam. Catholics vs Protestants in Northern Ireland. Tyrannical regimes’treatment of their populations the world over.
Let us Pray:
Almighty God, whose most dear Child did not enter joy before suffering pain, and did not enter glory before being crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may with your people everywhere who suffer oppression and are deprived of freedom, find through the way of the cross the way of Life and Peace; through Jesus Christ, your Child, our Lord, Amen.
Lord have mercy
Christ have mercy
Lord have mercy
The second station: Jesus takes up his cross.
(All station artwork was produced by members of the Vanderbilt Divinity community from found and reclaimed objects. Liturgy adapted from St. Brendan the Navigator Episcopal Church, Stonington, Maine, 1993. The original version of this liturgy can be found at earthministry.org)