Message from the chaplain: 26 July 2019

The Fifth Station: Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry the cross

After mocking him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him. They compelled a passer-by, who was coming in from the country, to carry his cross; it was Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus. Then they brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means the place of a skull).

– Mark 15:20-22 (NRSV)

Simon unwillingly takes up the cross. He is strong and Jesus is battling to carry the cross on His way to Calvary, weak and exhausted. The African influence is shown again in Simon’s appearance. The figures at the top represent our journey through life towards Jesus. We diminish as He becomes greater.

– Joseph Capelle

In our journeys through life, if we choose to look at our experiences of suffering through the lens of Christ’s suffering, we can only draw nearer to Christ, as depicted in the progression of figures at the top of this Station. However, we do so inexorably as who we are, as who God created us to be – which is why Simon’s figure stands out for me. Simon’s figure does not change, despite the progression in the figures at the top of the Station. Through Simon’s journey with Christ, he is integrally who he is – with his accompanying emotions. So too, are we. In the Anglican Church, the colour green represents growth, regeneration, newness.

To me, the green strip on the right of this Station represents the restoration that is to be found in Christ, through our drawing near to him even in his suffering.

Revd Claudia Coustas