Faith and family: Springfield Baptist hosting ‘Journey to the Cross’
Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 12, 2016
By Morgan Mizell
The Natchez Democrat
NATCHEZ — A journey to the cross will happen tonight at Springfield Baptist Church.
The event, which is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. inside the church, is set up in stations and designed to give each participant an individual experience unlike any other participant has.
It is in an inside event and it will take place rain or shine.
“We have been hosting this event for about 10 years now,” organizer Eric Warren said. “Sometimes people think it is like a drama or a program and it is really a personal walk through the different stages of Christ’s life.”
Warren, a deacon of the church, believed he and fellow member Kevin Campbell were called to continue this ministry which was started many years ago.
“I know we were doing it when I first started attending church here and that was ten years ago,” Campbell said. “We just could not stand not doing it. You never know when it can be a blessing to someone or even to us.”
The journey begins in the front office to the left of the church entrance. It has a television playing static to signify “outer noise” that exists in people’s life. A piece of paper explains this, and all other stations, and lists every action each participant should take on the journey.
“When you get there in that room with the TV and you are looking at that static and hearing it, it is like the craziness of life,” Warren said. “Then you turn it off and you ask God to quiet your mind and you focus on Him and you follow Him through the rest of the journey.”
The next 12 stations depict different parts of Christ’s journey.
Station two brings participants to the human embodiment of Christ. It asks participants to envision Him as a man and think about what it would have been like for Him to walk among His own creation.
A pair of sandals, common to the period of His life, represents this station.
Station three is a scene set up for Mary to anoint Jesus. Station four is a scene set up to put participants in the mind of Judas when he agrees to betray Jesus.
“When people come in and touch the coins that represent the money Judas agreed to take to betray Jesus, it is moving.” Warren said. “It is a powerful moment when you think about how much was lost for such a little money.”
Station five is a scene of The Last Supper. In this station, there will be people reenacting the meal. In this station, participants will see Jesus and some of His disciples partaking in the meal. In this station, Warren portrays Jesus.
Station six is a scene representing Gethsemane. It reveals the sorrow in Jesus’ heart that night.
Station seven is Jesus’ arrest. There is rope on a table to represent the rope He was bound with. Participants are asked to touch the rope and think about the how Jesus sacrificed himself to save the others.
“Going through each station is different for everyone,” Warren said. “Some move through it quickly and others take their time. I think as they go, they slow down because they start to think about what Jesus was going through.”
Station eight is Jesus’ trial. It is here that He received such mocking from the crowd. He also got His crown of thorns. He is beaten and will soon be lead to death. It puts you in the place of Peter and it asks you to think about the way you must feel about all of this. Lastly, it asks you to look at the robe and the crown of thorns and think about what you might want to say to Jesus.
Station nine represents the Crucifixion. Participants will see a cross and a table with nails, paper, pens and a hammer.
“This is one of the best parts for me because the way it is set up for people who need to let go of something,” Warren said. “They can write down a sin in their life, nail it to the cross and leave it there.”
Campbell mentioned how this very station helped him a few years back deal with some difficult personal issues in his life.
“Jesus died for our sins and when you read the paper it tells you with every stroke of the hammer you can think about how Jesus said, ‘It is finished,’ Warren said. “You leave it there and you don’t have to worry because no one sees it and no one reads it.”
Station ten and eleven cover the death of Jesus and His burial. Station twelve is the resurrection. All three stations ask the participants to think about what people must have been thinking and feeling to know Jesus was gone. Then at station twelve they see the stone rolled away and the body gone. It asks participants to think about how they can be transformed.
Station thirteen is called crossroads. It is the conclusion of the journey and asks participants to think about what they have just done.
There have been people who have dedicated their life to Christ at this point.
“Some ask us to pray with them and others don’t really spend much time here in reflection,” Warren said. “There are also journals in the room to allow people to write down what they thought about their journey and what they feel at that moment.”
The event is free and open to the public.
“We open the doors at 6:30 p.m. and we are here until the last person goes through,” Warren said. “We will stay all night if someone needs us to be here and pray with them.”
Warren and Campbell hope to continue this tradition as long as they are able. Anyone with questions can call the church at 601-446-7588. The church is located in Adams County off Liberty Road at 16 Springfield Road.