The Way of Light

The Way of Light or Stations of Easter is a counterpart to the Stations of the Cross with the focus on the events following Christ’s resurrection.

The versicle and response, “We adore you, O Christ,…” is from the traditional devotions for the Stations of the Cross, expanded for use in the Easter season.

The prayers that follow each scriptural devotion are newly written for A Collection of Prayers. Each begins “Risen Lord, draw us to you,” based on the verse from Song of Songs 1:4 and the favorite Ascension hymn “Draw us to thee.”

All art except for the fourteenth station is by James Tissot. Art for the fourteenth station is based on an engraving by Gustave Doré.

The readings, prayers and art are available as a downloadable pdf, printable as a booklet.

First station: Jesus Rises from the Dead

We adore you, O + Christ, and we praise you.
Because by your holy cross and the light of the resurrection you have redeemed the world.

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. Suddenly, there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, and going to the tomb, he rolled away the stone and was sitting on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. The guards were so terrified of him that they shook and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid! I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here. He has risen, just as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. Go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has risen from the dead! And look, he is going ahead of you to Galilee. There you will see him.’ See, I have told you!” (Matthew 28:1–7)

Risen Lord, draw us to you.
Drive away our fears
with the good news of your resurrection,
and fill us with joy
as we tell others;
you live and reign, now and forever. Amen.

Second station: The Disciples Find the Tomb Empty

We adore you, O + Christ, and we praise you.
Because by your holy cross and the light of the resurrection you have redeemed the world.

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb. She saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she left and ran to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved. “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb,” she told them, “and we don’t know where they put him!” So Peter and the other disciple went out, heading for the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and got to the tomb first. Bending over, he saw the linen cloths lying there, yet he did not go in. Then Simon Peter, who was following him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there. The cloth that had been on Jesus’ head was not lying with the linen cloths, but was folded up in a separate place by itself. Then the other disciple, who arrived at the tomb first, also entered. He saw and believed. (They still did not yet understand the Scripture that he must rise from the dead.) (John 20:1–9)

Risen Lord, draw us to you.
Open our minds and hearts
that we may understand the testimony of Scripture
that you have risen from the dead;
you live and reign, now and forever. Amen.

Third station: The Risen Lord Appears to Mary Magdalene

We adore you, O + Christ, and we praise you.
Because by your holy cross and the light of the resurrection you have redeemed the world.

Mary Magdalene stood outside facing the tomb, weeping. As she wept, she bent over, looking into the tomb. She saw two angels in white clothes sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and one at the feet. They asked her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She told them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I don’t know where they have laid him.” After she said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, though she did not know it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?” Supposing he was the gardener, she replied, “Sir, if you carried him off, tell me where you laid him, and I will get him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and replied in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means, “Teacher”). Jesus told her, “Do not continue to cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to my Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father—to my God and your God.’ ” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord!” She also told them the things he said to her. (John 20:11–18)

Risen Lord, draw us to you.
Dry our tears,
call us by name,
and lead us to heaven
where we may always cling to you;
you live and reign, now and forever. Amen.

Fourth station: The Risen Lord Appears to Two Disciples on the Road to Emmaus

We adore you, O + Christ, and we praise you.
Because by your holy cross and the light of the resurrection you have redeemed the world.

Now, on that same day, two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about all of these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing this, Jesus himself approached and began to walk along with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. He said to them, “What are you talking about as you walk along?” Saddened, they stopped. One of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” “What things?” he asked them. They replied, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet, mighty in deed and word before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be condemned to death. And they crucified him. But we were hoping that he was going to redeem Israel. Not only that, but besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. Also some women of our group amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning. When they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb. They found it just as the women had said, but they did not see him.” He said to them, “How foolish you are and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and to enter his glory?” Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.” (Luke 24:13–27)

Risen Lord, draw us to you.
Drive out all foolishness,
and open our hearts to believe
all the Scriptures have spoken about you;
you live and reign, now and forever. Amen.

Fifth station: The Risen Lord Is Recognized at the Breaking of Bread

We adore you, O + Christ, and we praise you.
Because by your holy cross and the light of the resurrection you have redeemed the world.

As they approached the village where they were going, he acted as if he were going to travel farther. But they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, since it is almost evening, and the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. When he reclined at the table with them, he took the bread, blessed it, broke it, and began giving it to them. Suddenly their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. Then he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was speaking to us along the road and while he was explaining the Scriptures to us?” They got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem. They found the Eleven and those who were with them assembled together. They were saying, “The Lord really has been raised! He has appeared to Simon.” They themselves described what had happened along the road, and how they recognized him when he broke the bread. (Luke 24:28–35)

Risen Lord, draw us to you.
Stay with us
and bless us with your gracious presence
that our hearts may burn within us,
that we may recognize you
in Word and Sacrament;
you live and reign, now and forever. Amen.

Sixth station: The Risen Lord Appears to His Disciples

We adore you, O + Christ, and we praise you.
Because by your holy cross and the light of the resurrection you have redeemed the world.

As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” But they were terrified and frightened and thought they were looking at a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled? Why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself. Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While they still did not believe it (because of their joy), and while they were still wondering, he said to them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish and some honeycomb. He took it and ate in front of them. (Luke 24:36–43)

Risen Lord, draw us to you.
Give us your peace.
Drive away all doubts.
and fill our hearts with joy;
you live and reign, now and forever. Amen.

Seventh station: The Lord Gives the Power to Forgive Sins

We adore you, O + Christ, and we praise you.
Because by your holy cross and the light of the resurrection you have redeemed the world.

On the evening of that first day of the week, the disciples were together behind locked doors because of their fear of the Jews. Jesus came, stood among them, and said to them, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. So the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you! Just as the Father has sent me, I am also sending you.” After saying this, he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whenever you forgive people’s sins, they are forgiven. Whenever you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” (John 20:19–23)

Risen Lord, draw us to you.
As you have given us your peace,
make us agents of your peace.
As you have forgiven us our sins,
move us to forgive those who have sinned against us;
you live and reign, now and forever. Amen.

Eighth station: The Lord Confirms the Faith of Thomas

We adore you, O + Christ, and we praise you.
Because by your holy cross and the light of the resurrection you have redeemed the world.

Thomas, one of the Twelve, the one called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples kept telling him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands, and put my finger into the mark of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will never believe.” After eight days, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and look at my hands. Take your hand and put it into my side. Do not continue to doubt, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:24–29)

Risen Lord, draw us to you.
Give us faith in the word of your gospel
that we may believe without seeing,
and confess you as our Lord and our God;
you live and reign, now and forever. Amen.

Ninth station: The Risen Lord Meets His Disciples on the Shore of Lake Tiberias

We adore you, O + Christ, and we praise you.
Because by your holy cross and the light of the resurrection you have redeemed the world.

After this, Jesus showed himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias. This is how he showed himself: Simon Peter, Thomas (called the Twin), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. Simon Peter said to them, “I’m going fishing.” They replied, “We’ll go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. Early in the morning, Jesus was standing on the shore, but the disciples did not know it was Jesus. Jesus called to them, “Boys, don’t you have any fish?” “No!” they answered. He told them, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” So they cast the net out. Then they were not able to haul it in because of the large number of fish. The disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard, “It is the Lord!” he tied his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the sea. But the other disciples came in the little boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about one hundred yards. When they stepped out on land, they saw some bread and a charcoal fire with fish on it. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you just caught.” So Simon Peter climbed aboard and hauled the net to land, full of large fish, 153 of them. Yet even with so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come, eat breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” because they knew it was the Lord. Jesus came, took the bread, and gave it to them, and also the fish. (John 21:1–13)

Risen Lord, draw us to you.
As you surprised your disciples by appearing to them,
and by giving them a large catch of fish,
fill us with wonder by your constant presence,
and with your many blessings;
you live and reign, now and forever. Amen.

Tenth station: The Risen Lord Restores Peter

We adore you, O + Christ, and we praise you.
Because by your holy cross and the light of the resurrection you have redeemed the world.

When they had eaten breakfast, Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I care about you.” Jesus told him, “Feed my lambs.” A second time Jesus asked him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said, “Yes, Lord, you know that I care about you.” Jesus told him, “Be a shepherd for my sheep.” He asked him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you care about me?” Peter was grieved because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you care about me?” He answered, “Lord, you know all things. You know that I care about you.” “Feed my sheep,” Jesus said. (John 21:15–17)

Risen Lord, draw us to you.
We are like sheep that have gone astray.
Gather us, restore us,
and empower us with your love and forgiveness,
that we may feed your lambs and sheep;
you live and reign, now and forever. Amen.

Eleventh station: The Risen Lord Entrusts to His Disciples the Mission to the World

We adore you, O + Christ, and we praise you.
Because by your holy cross and the light of the resurrection you have redeemed the world.

The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshipped him, but some hesitated because they were uncertain. Jesus approached and spoke to them saying, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and gather disciples from all nations by baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and by teaching them to keep all the instructions I have given you. And surely I am with you always until the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:16–20)

Risen Lord, draw us to you.
All authority in heaven and earth is yours.
When we hesitate
to speak your Word or do your work
because of doubt and fear,
remind us that you are with us always,
and give us authority and power through your Word;
you live and reign, now and forever. Amen.

Twelfth station: The Risen Lord Ascends to the Father

We adore you, O + Christ, and we praise you.
Because by your holy cross and the light of the resurrection you have redeemed the world.

So when they were together with him, they asked, “Lord, is this the time when you are going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” After he said these things, he was taken up while they were watching, and a cloud took him out of their sight. They were looking intently into the sky as he went away. Suddenly, two men in white clothes stood beside them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why are you standing here looking up into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:6–11)

Risen Lord, draw us to you.
Let your kingdom come
through us to the world
as we live as your witnesses
until you come again;
you live and reign, now and forever. Amen.

Thirteenth station: Waiting for the Holy Spirit

We adore you, O + Christ, and we praise you.
Because by your holy cross and the light of the resurrection you have redeemed the world.

Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mountain called the Mount of Olives, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away. When they entered the city, they went to the upstairs room where they were staying. Peter and John were there, also James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James. All of them kept praying together with one mind, along with the women, with Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers. (Acts 1:12–14)

Risen Lord, draw us to you.
Unite us, your church,
that we may pray together with one mind,
to hallow your name, advance your kingdom,
and do your will;
you live and reign, now and forever. Amen.

Fourteenth station: The Risen Lord Sends the Holy Spirit Promised to the Disciples

We adore you, O + Christ, and we praise you.
Because by your holy cross and the light of the resurrection you have redeemed the world.

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the rushing of a violent wind came from heaven, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw divided tongues that were like fire resting on each one of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, since the Spirit was giving them the ability to speak fluently. Now there were godly Jewish men from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. When this sound was heard, a crowd came together and was confused, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. They were completely baffled and said to each other, “Look, are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them speaking in his own native language? Parthians, Medes, and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, and of Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt, and the parts of Libya around Cyrene; visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes; Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring in our own languages the wonderful works of God.” They were all amazed and perplexed. They kept saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others mocked them and said, “They are full of new wine.” (Acts 2:1–13)

Risen Lord, draw us to you.
Send your Spirit to open our lips
that we may declare
the wonderful works of God;
you live and reign, now and forever. Amen.

Scripture is taken from The Holy Bible: Evangelical Heritage Version

Prayers are written for A Collection of Prayers, © 2021 Paul C. Stratman

Art is by James Tissot from his Gospel Harmony Series.

Art for the Fourteenth Station is colorized from an etching by Gustave Dore.

See also:

Published by

pastorstratman

Lutheran pastor, liturgical writer and musician serving St. Stephen's in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin.

2 thoughts on “The Way of Light”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s