When they came to the place which is called the Skull, there they crucified him; and with him they crucified two criminals, one on the right, the other on the left, and Jesus between them. And the scripture was fulfilled which says, “He was numbered with the transgressors.”

War & Nuclear War

A landscape of horror unfolds around the globe: Iraqi oil fields burning; Bosnian cities starving; feuding warlords in Liberia; Somalia; the Sudan; Ethiopia; Sri Lanka; ethnic conflict In Armenia, Georgia & Azerbaijan; civil war In Mexico, Israel, Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Peru, all across Africa.

Closer to home, a different sort of conflict, nonetheless destructive: drug wars across international boundaries, infesting our cities’ streets, corrupting our children and our impoverished families with crack.

Then, lurking in the back of our consciousness always, is the threat of nuclear proliferation: who’s next, North Korea? Iraq? Iran? And the big question mark: the fate of Russia and Eastern Europe and its massive nuclear arsenal in this time of transition and uncertainty and Instability.

Not to mention the “economics” of war: saving Kuwait’s oil fields and letting “ethnic cleansing” proliferate in the mountains of Bosnia and Croatia, letting tyranny decimate folk In Tibet. And our own unwillingness to face the closing of American bases and the deceleration of American weapons manufacture, for fear of the economic consequences to our own local folk. And still we go on, even in this “new world order,” with the testing of nuclear weapons and the generation of nuclear waste which must be stored, we know not how (and definitely not In OUR backyard!).

“As long as you do it to the least of these my children, you do it to me,” said Jesus in Matt. 25:40. And Jeremiah decried “crying ‘Peace, peace!’ when there IS no peace!”

Let us Pray:

Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace: So clothe us in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you; for the honor of your name. Amen.

Kyrie eleison
Christe eleison
Kyrie eleison

Lord have mercy
Christ have mercy
Lord have mercy

The seventh station: Jesus dies on the 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)