Rustlings (December 3, 2018)

Walking the path of Jesus’ final footsteps on this earth is a highlight of any pilgrimage to the Holy Land – a journey undertaken by millions of Christians since at least the Fourth Century. For decades, members of First Baptist Greenville have made pilgrimages to the Holy Land and walked the Via Dolorosa – the way of suffering, the path from the Garden of Gethsemane atop the Mount of Olives to the place of Jesus’ crucifixion and all points in between.

Unfortunately, every Christian cannot make this pilgrimage. For the millions who have traveled to this sacred place, there are millions more who have only dreamed of traveling there. To accommodate the latter, the Church attempted to bring the final footsteps of Jesus – the stations of the cross – to her congregants. In 1521, a book was written and illustrated with 14 biblical moments depicting the final historical and traditional moments in Jesus’ life. By the late 17th century, these 14 stations were artistically displayed in churches and retreat centers. These visual representations of Jesus’ final footsteps allow any pilgrim to walk the path of suffering with our Lord.

In 2017, a pilgrim from First Baptist Greenville saw a set of hand-carved Stations in Bethlehem. Having a desire for everyone to experience the last moments of Jesus’ life, these beautiful olive wood renderings were purchased, shipped, anonymously donated and now hang in the Carpenter Chapel. During the Lent/Easter season, times for private meditations, as well as guided group meditations, will be offered around these stations. On Sunday evening, December 16 at 6:30 pm, these gifts will be dedicated to the glory of God and the ministry of the church during a brief service in Carpenter Chapel. Join us for this inaugural reading of texts and prayers as we receive these wonderful gifts into the life and ministry of our church.

— Jim