Lenten Devotional: Native American Stations of the Cross

These Native American inspired Stations of the Cross were painted by artist Melanie Twelves, a member of All Saints Episcopal Church in Duncan, Oklahoma. These Stations depict Christ wearing a leather-fringed garment and a Southwestern cactus as the crown of thorns. According to the artist, “The cactus plant survives in the desert and becomes a home to birds, much as Christ survived the desert of temptation and becomes our home. Christ carries a blue cross out of obedience to His Father in Heaven. Blue stands for loyalty and truth” (Small Churches, Big Impact).

The Rev. Stacy Williams-Duncan, a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation and Rector of Little Fork Episcopal Church, collaborated with artists Reba Balint and Jess Bejot to create this digital version of the stations. The focus on Native American imagery seems particularly relevant at this time considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Native communities (Small Churches, Big Impact). Scriptural texts, meditations, and a prayer are included with each station.

History of the Stations

Stations of the Cross were brought by crusaders to medieval Europe as a way to go on pilgrimage when it wasn’t possible to travel to the Holy Land. Sculptures and paintings depicting artwork showing Christ’s last hours helped Christians better understand what Jesus experienced. Using the Stations is a method of devotion and prayer to Christ. One stops at each Station to pray and meditate on the Gospel scripture shown (St. Paul’s Episcopal Church).

References

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. “Way of the Cross.” Accessed March 24, 2021. https://stpaulsww.spokanediocese.org/Misc-Unposted/stations-of-the-cross.html.

“Small Churches Big Impact.” Accessed March 24, 2021. https://smallchurchesbigimpact.org/.

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