Lenten/Ash Wednesday/Good Friday Idea
This is not strictly an Ash Wednesday idea. On Good Friday we do a
Service of Nails where each participant is invited to place a nail
in a cross. It would
be powerful for that nail to be one they have carried since Ash Wednesday. A
reminder of our sin, driven into the cross.
We plan on using a small, triangular-shaped nail small enough to carry around
in pocket or purse, which is what will be suggested that people do during Lent.
These nails will be available on the "Nail Table" on Ash Wednesday.
Nail Table Reflection
Scripture: Mark 15:22, 24, 29a, 31-32
Reflection: Crucifixion was probably the most cruel form of
punishment ever invented. It is unknown in the Old Testament. The cross as instrument
of execution seems
to have originated with the Persians, who passed it on to the Greeks and Romans
who used public execution as a deterrent against rebellious slaves and seditious
There were wide variations, according to the whims and sadism of the executioner,
but by Roman times, several features were fairly standard. With a placard proclaiming
the crime hung around the neck, the condemned prisoner carried the crossbar of
the cross to the place of execution where the upright stake was already in place.
The offender was stripped and flogged and his arms were affixed to the crossbar
with ropes or nails. Then the crossbar was raised and attached to the upright
stake. The feet were also affixed to the stake with ropes or nails.
Death came slowly, often taking several days.
Because of the extreme suffering and public humiliation, it was viewed by the
Romans as the supreme penalty, the "most wretched of deaths," according
to Joesphus. It was generally reserved for the lowest classes and the most heinous
Action: Take one of the nails and a copy of Ann Weem's poem, "No Dances" with
you. Carry the nail in your pocket or purse throughout the season of Lent to
remind you of what Jesus endured because he loved us. Let it also remind you
that even in the darkest days of your life, you are not alone and God's love
will always be present with you to sustain you. Bring your nail to worship on