By combining a compelling sermon series with an insightful group of monologues, "At The Cross With Jesus" offers flexible, effective resources that will keep the cross central in your congregation's minds and hearts during Lent. Practical for use in any church, large or small, the material in "At The Cross With Jesus" is perfect for midweek worship or Holy Week services, and could also be used for a Bible study.
The five moving messages in The Symbols Of The Cross examine Jesus' final days by focusing on powerful images from the Passion story. Each homily relates these events to our everyday lives by exploring a specific symbol and the human characteristic it exemplifies. There are also directions for creating a searing memory of these symbols by placing visual representations of each image on a wooden cross.
Symbols included are:
- The Palms (a symbol of our fickleness)
- The Money Bag (a symbol of our greed)
- The Towel (a symbol of servanthood)
- The Crown of Thorns (a symbol of mockery)
- The Nails of the Cross (a symbol of suffering)
In Five Who Knew Jesus, five persons who were intimately acquainted with Jesus describe their personal relationships with him. Through hearing the perspective of those who played critical roles in Jesus' life, we are encouraged to look more closely at our own relationships with Christ during the introspective season of Lent. The monologues may be performed in readers' theater format, but are even more effective if memorized. Few props are required, and costumes are a nice touch but not essential.
Characters represented are:
- John -- a hot-tempered man who becomes the disciple of love
- Mary, the mother of Jesus -- a woman who suffers a mother's pain while humbly accepting God's will
- Peter -- an arrogant man who becomes a humble disciple
- Judas -- the disciple who failed because he thought he knew best
- Mary Magdalene -- a woman of the world who strives to love herself as Jesus loved her
Carl B. Rife has pastored United Methodist congregations throughout Maryland and Pennsylvania for more than 30 years. His sermons and worship resources have appeared in several CSS publications, and he is the author of "Bumper Sticker Religion" (CSS).
Harold D. Shaffer, an active member of St. Stephen Lutheran Church in Arbutus, Maryland, is a licensed clinical counselor who currently serves on the staff of an addictions clinic in Catonsville, Maryland. Shaffer is also on the adjunct faculty of Baltimore City Community College and the Maryland Office of Education and Training for Addiction Services (OETAS).