The 3 hour meditation service at the Foot of the Cross, at Christchurch Woking, had as its centrepiece the Cross we had painted in the previous sacred:space.
The service was based on John 3:16 "For God loved the world so much that gave his only son (Length) that whoever believes in him (Breadth) should not perish (Depth) but have everlasting life (Height)"
We looked at the 4 dimensions of the Cross with images, music, liturgy, prayers, thoughts (by Martin) and responsive activities. Each section was 45 minutes. In the background the DVD of 'The Passion' was playing silently (and often illustrated the reading of Scipture exactly!) ....
1. The Length of Christ's Love
Georges Rouault, "Ecce homo", 1937-41. canvas on wood. Paris, Musée national d’art modern
‘The meaning of the story is found in every detail, as well as in the broad narrative….. The death of Jesus…. is either the most stupid, senseless waste and misunderstanding the world has ever seen, or it is the fulcrum around which world history turns’Tom Wright: Simply Christian (p95)
2 Breadth of Christ's Love
‘The Yellow Christ’ Paul Gaugin 1889 Albright Knox Art Gallery Buffallo NY
‘God in Christ has united our human nature to himself…. And demonstrated to us that supreme love of which Christ himself speaks: ‘Greater love has no-one than this (John 15 13), We are thus joined through his grace to him and our neighbour by an unbreakable bond of love….’ Peter Abelard
We think that Paradise and Calvary, Christ's cross and Adam's tree, stood in one place ;Look, Lord, and find both Adams met in me ;As the first Adam's sweat surrounds my face,May the last Adam's blood my soul embrace.John Donne; Hymn to God, My God in my sickness’
3. The Depth of Christ's Love
Crucifixion by He Qi, China www.heqigallery.com
‘A god who cannot suffer is poorer than any human. For
a God who is incapable of suffering is a being who cannot be involved.
Suffering and injustice do not affect him. And because he is so completely
insensitive, he cannot be affected or shaken by anything. He cannot weep, for
he has no tears. But the one who cannot suffer cannot love either. So he is a
Moltmann (1974) the
4. The Height of God's Love
Mount Calvary William H. Johnson 1944 Smithsonian American Art Foundation
‘God’s act of universal forgiveness is the whole train of action he sets working through Christ, through the Spirit, through the Church, through all-embracing providence, towards the reconciliation of the unreconciled, whether in this world or in a world to come. And of this great process Christ’s blood was, once more, the cost.’
Austin Farrar Saving Belief (p 107)
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge — that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Eph. 3:17-21