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Jesus meets Trent Reznor meets an ancient Catholic practice meets Willow Creek meets communion

Filed under: willow,worship — 8:25 am

Jesus on the cross

This weekend at Willow was one of the more moving communion experiences I’ve experienced in a long time.  To help prepare us for this holy sacrament, we spent 6 or 7 minutes meditating on eight stations of the cross.  The title would come up (e.g. “Station 1:  Pilate Condemns Jesus to Die”), followed by the scripture (e.g. “
Pilate gave the crowd what it wanted and turned Jesus over for whipping and crucifixion.  Mark 15:15”), and then a haunting piece of art capturing this scene came up on the screen.  And as we meditated on this image, we tried to enter the story as deeply as we could.  What might it have felt like to be there?  What must have been going through the mind of Jesus?  What does this moment in history 2000 years ago mean for my life right now?  The ancient practice of The Stations of the Cross guided us through an intense journey.

During this experience, we (the band) played the haunting “Hand Covers Bruise” by Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross.   This song is as beautiful as it is creepy, and it captured some of that intense, mournful, unsettling emotion that must have been present on that execution day in the first century.  Listen to it here…

After this reflection, we took bread and juice in sober silence.  You could have heard a pin drop.  I’m not sure what was going on in everyone else, but all I could think about was my own brokenness.  I have failed to live up to who God has created me to be in a thousand ways.  A million ways.  And yet God has not and will not ever give up on me.  In fact, as Brennon Manning says, God is quite fond of me.  And you.

Finally, through tears and throats coated with a shot of grape juice, we stood and bellowed
the old hymn “Jesus Paid it All”…

I hear the Saviour say:
“Thy faith indeed is small
Child of weakness watch and pray
Find in me thine all in all”.

Jesus paid it all
All to him I owe
Sin had left a crimson stain
He washed it white as snow


  1. is that available on video anywhere?

    Comment by jason smith — August 22, 2011 @ 8:48 am

  2. I don’t think so. Because we used the Reznor song, copyright means we can’t record/share it. sorry!


    Comment by aaronieq — August 22, 2011 @ 8:59 am

  3. I went to Barrington this weekend when usually I attend DuPage. I don’t know what happened but I was sobbing through communion. It felt like pieces of my heart were being broken. I’m in a process of discerning His will in my life amidst great financial stress and worry. It felt as though I realized how
    much that negates His death so that I can be free. It gave me an even stronger desire to seek Him and to let Him be in control. Thanks for leading the most moving communion experience I’ve ever had.

    Comment by beth — August 22, 2011 @ 9:36 am

  4. Great job putting it together…and I liked your description of it here.

    Comment by Darren Niesley — August 22, 2011 @ 1:50 pm

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