By Rick Wolcott*
For centuries, Christians around the world have observed the season of Lent through a devotional practice called “The Stations of the Cross.”
It began as an alternative for believers who could not make the pilgrimage to Jerusalem to walk the Via Dolorosa, which is Latin for “path of sorrows.” The Via Dolorosa is the path through Jerusalem that Jesus is believed to have followed from his trial before Pilate to his death on Calvary.
The pilgrim’s journey involves traveling from one station to another in a setting such as a garden, church or monastery. At each station individuals pause to read or to hear a passage of Scripture from the story of Jesus’ suffering and death, and to pray and meditate on its significance. Each station usually contains a visual representation – maybe a statue, carving or painting – of what was read in each Scripture.
Perry United Methodist Church (Western Reserve District) has created a new devotional opportunity: the QR Stations of the Cross. It uses the technology of QR – or Quick Response – codes as a tour guide.
Fourteen stations – representing key locations in the story of Good Friday – have been set up around the Perry community. Each station will have a small sign, with the words “The Journey” on it, displaying a QR code – a small black and white box pattern that contains data and images.
Scanning the QR Code with a smartphone or tablet will direct those taking the journey to a web page that contains artwork, scriptures, prayers and questions for reflection. The web page offers space for reflections about the station to be posted. The page also contains the GPS coordinates of the next station.
Those on the journey can spend as much or as little time as they wish praying and reflecting at each station. All 14 can be visited in one day or the devotional experience can be spread out over many days.
If anyone who does not have a smartphone or tablet wishes to participate in this devotional experience, please call the church office at (440) 259-27493 and arrangements will be made for someone who has the device to lead the tour of the stations.
Start the journey using a mobile device by clicking this link or scanning the QR Code.
*Rick Wolcott is director of Communications for the East Ohio Conference of The United Methodist Church.