GREENVILLE – The Greater Greenville Ministerial Association sponsored Good Friday services “The Way of the Cross” April 14.
The two hour event symbolized Christ’s journey to the cross and his crucifixion down the Via Dolorosa. The Via Dolorosa is a street within the Old City of Jerusalem, believed to be the path that Jesus walked on the way to his crucifixion. Four men carried a large wooden cross as people walked and prayed behind, to five different churches, in remembrance of the steps Jesus Christ took to Calvary. The journey was as follows: it began at St. Mary’s Catholic church, St. Paul United Church of Christ, First United Methodist Church, First Presbyterian Church and ended at St. Paul Lutheran Church, all in Greenville.
The different churches shared the Bible readings, songs and meditations on the Stations of the Cross that tell the story of Jesus’s death. The Stations of the Cross are a 14-step devotion that commemorates Jesus Christ’s last day on Earth as a man. The 14 devotions, or stations, focus on specific events of His last day, beginning with His condemnation and end with Him being laid in the tomb.
Retired Pastor of Christian and Missionary Alliance Church and President of the Greater Greenville Ministerial Association Rev. Doug Klinsing was one of the preachers at the second stop, St. Paul United Church of Christ. He believes the event gives people a small sense of what Jesus might have gone through on His journey to death.
“For one, those who carry the cross – the weight – that is a very heavy cross, probably not even as heavy as the one that Jesus carried and yet it requires at least four or five to handle it,” he said. “I think that is what is meaningful for everyone is for them to see, in a very meaningful way, what Christ went through. We read the story, hear it preached about every Easter, yet we don’t focus on those points of His suffering.
“Every time I’ve done this, especially about Peter, apart from Christ’s own words on the cross when He said, ‘Father, forgive them for they know what they do’, or later when He said, ‘My God my God why have you forsaken me’, I cannot even begin to imagine the depth of his suffering when Peter denied him, even though He knew it was going to happen,” Klinsing added. “I’ve been doing this for about nine years, and every year this is more meaningful to me.”