This is the eve of Holy Week and I am sharing this reflective meditation for a seven-circuit classical Labyrinth Walk. It is a reflection on the seven last words (sentences) of Christ. I invite each of you to reflect on what these words mean to you. The Labyrinth is not inherently Christian, nor is this season inherently Christian. It is Spring. All things come to life, including you! Your soul needs to be nourished and fed. Opening up to new possibilities and letting go of wounds, either self-inflicted or by others, intentional or unintentional, a walk through a path that allows you to release, let go, and anticipate change (resurrection) is always helpful to your healing process. If Christ’s words don’t fit for you, relax and let your own imagery from deep down in your being speak to you or superimpose your own faith tradition on the meditation below. Use it as a metaphor. All of life is a metaphor!
I wrote this meditation at the request of the Pastor for Foothills Christian Church (five years ago) in honor of Good Friday. For those of you who have a Labyrinth nearby you can copy this and take it to walk or you can use it for a reflective meditation and journaling prayer. A finger labyrinth or the Labyrinth Journey APP are other useful tools for this reflection. When I rediscovered this writing in my archives, I was struck with how reflective and present it made me feel. Today, a week before Good Friday 2019, I share it with you as a spiritual tool to enter Holy Week. This exercise is intended to be used in any way that is meaningful to you and I share it a week early to allow you ample time to explore and journal what this season of Spring means to you. What is dying? What is being crucified in your own life? What are you wrestling with and what makes you terrified? All of these questions can brought to the center of the labyrinth and there you can release them and ask for help.
The Seven Last Words of Christ: Reflections for Good Friday as you walk the Labyrinth. This worksheet or worship sheet is intended to be a guide to help you stay focused on the significance of Christ’s Death on the Cross. How does it apply to you and your personal situation today?
“Father, forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34
Father, as I walk this first circuit of the labyrinth I ask that you forgive me for (be specific) ………..
For example: “When I reacted the way I did I was impulsive and selfish and did not know what I was doing. I was too quick to judge and triggered by my own negative perception. Forgive me.”
“I assure you today you will be with me in Paradise.” Luke 23:43
Father, as I walk this second circuit of the Labyrinth I need your assurance, your love, and your tenderness that I will be with you in Paradise, not only in the end, but today, Father. May I learn to experience your Heaven on earth today.
“Dear Woman, Here is Your Son.” John 19:26
(Place your name at the end of the sentence.)
Imagine Jesus looking into his Mother’s eyes and telling her, Dear Woman here is your son, ____________or your daughter, ____________________. What would it be like to establish a relationship with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, in such an intimate way? Whatever comes up for you with this reflection remember it and write it down later. Jesus would not have given John to his mother if it did not have significance.
“My God, My God, Why have you abandoned me?” Mark 15:34
On this fourth circuit of the labyrinth, hear Jesus cry out to God. He feels abandoned. If you were going to be as honest with God today as Jesus was on the cross, what would your anguish cry? My God, My God why have you_______________________________? Allow your feelings to surface and keep walking. Healing happens through the pain, not in your avoidance of it.
“I am Thirsty.” John 19:28
At this point on the Labyrinth you can see the center again. You are almost there, yet there are still two more circuits. What do you thirst for? What are your longings that do not feel satisfied?
“It is finished!” John 19:30
Jesus cries out, “It is finished.” What do you need to finish? What do you need to let go of that keeps you in anguish? We create our own anguish by holding on to people, memories, events, past wounds, and even future calamities. In this display it is finished, and there is a surrender to the way things are. What do you need to finish?
“Father, I entrust my Spirit into your hands.” Luke 23:46
Last Circuit; you’re almost there. Don’t rush. Take your time. You are about to enter the Womb of God, the Belly of the Most High, the Holy of Holies. Breathe. Breathe in. Breathe out. God WAITS for you there. Entrust your spirit into His hands.
As you let go into the Womb of God, the center of the labyrinth, allow yourself to stay there as long as you would like. You can sit, kneel, stand, or even dance. Allow yourself to reflect again on what you have just heard in these last seven words of Jesus. Notice what it is like inside your body now. How do you feel? What do you need? Imagine God with you there in the center. When your thirst has been met, and you feel that you are ready to return, walk through each of the seven circuits again to reflect. Maybe on the way out you will want to read these words aloud. Take some time at the end to prayerfully reflect on what this experience has been like for you.
Another way to experience this process is to allow some time to write about it, especially about being Mary’s Son or Daughter. Remember, stories that survive many centuries are metaphors for our lives today. Reflect and reflect some more.
Labyrinth walking and journaling are two rich ways to nourish your thirsty soul. As Lauren Artress says in her book, Walk A Sacred Path, “The Labyrinth is a Watering Hole for the Soul.”Dr. Dilley