We sit around a large wooden cross with a crown of thorns placed on top of it. A length of red fabric is draped over the horizontal beam and three red ribbons are fixed to each end. Around the base of the cross is a purple robe, some dice, and a number of small crosses covered with news stories of world events, and we see the words ‘Sharing our Sorrows’.
Soldiers led Jesus outside the walls of Jerusalem to Golgotha, which means the place of the skull. A crown of thorns had been placed on his head. They nailed him to the cross, and fastened a notice to it that read ‘Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews’. While they waited for Jesus to die, the soldiers cast dice to see which one of them would have Jesus’ robe for themselves. When Jesus became thirsty, the soldiers offered him a sponge soaked in vinegar. At three o’clock that day Jesus died.
The cross reminds Christians of the death of Jesus, but because he rose again, the cross has also become a sign of hope for anyone who is suffering.
In you mind, hold one of the red ribbons, or take a small cross, and think about someone who you would like to pray for. The small crosses carry the words ‘for the hungry’, ‘for people who have no home’, ‘for those who are lonely’, ‘for people who are missing those they love’, ‘for those who are sad’, ‘for the sick’.
Dear Jesus, help all the people we have thought about, and anyone else who is sad of suffering today, to know that you are with them and love them very much. Amen.