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Station 4 - Jesus Meets His Mother

Artwork by Kristen Cianna, oil painting on 16" x 20" canvas

Dramatic reading by Lisa Holmlund


Welcome to the website for Centennial Covenant Church’s podcast Centered. This podcast was created by Karl Helvig, David Dillon, and Kaley Rodda, with the help of many other wonderful people. The content below is a guide for the prayer practice known as The Stations of the Cross, and this website was designed particularly with our friends in the D/HH community in mind. You can use it on its own without the audio podcast, or you can use the website while listening to the podcast to create a more immersive experience. The content here is exactly the same as that on the audio podcast. In other words, this website and the podcast can function either independently or together.


This episode of Centered features a very special guest, our friend Lisa Holmlund. Lisa grew up here at Centennial Covenant. Over the past twenty years she has gone to seminary and been on staff at multiple Covenant churches as a youth and family ministries pastor. She was planning on being a missionary in Argentina, but COVID changed that plan - as God often does change our plans! So she has been home over the last six or seven months in a season of taking care of family and volunteering in the church, rather than being on staff. You may have seen her as a pastor and volunteer on Sunday mornings at Centennial. Lisa has written a dramatic reading to go along with this week’s Station of the Cross, station four.


Station Four - Jesus meets his mother on the way to Golgotha - is another one of those extra-biblical encounters. It’s not recorded in scripture. But we do know that Mary was at the crucifixion, so it’s very likely that along the way they made some sort of contact. That’s what this fourth station is all about - what would that encounter have been like?


Before reflecting on and responding to the artwork for today’s Station of the Cross, take a moment now to pause. We’d encourage you to move slowly through each part of this exercise, beginning with the breaths you are about to take.


Take a minute to feel inside your body.


Take some deep breaths.


Relax a little bit wherever you are holding tension.


Focus your attention on this present moment.



As you continue to breathe naturally and sit comfortably, read these words from Tony Jones in his book The Sacred Way:


What must it be like to see your mother as you are walking to your own execution? Mary gave birth to this boy, she brought him as an infant into the temple, she lifted him up in her arms when the wise men came to adore him. She fled with him to Egypt, she took him up to Jerusalem when he was 12 years old. He lived with her at Nazareth for 30 years. She was with him at the marriage feast. Even when he had left her to preach, she hovered about him. And now she’s there to give him comfort at the hour of his death.


When you feel ready, scroll down the page to the artwork. You will be guided through a reflection on today’s Station of the cross.




First, take a minute to simply sit with the image and take in all its details.


For the next three questions, take your time in processing or responding to each. Let this be a leisurely practice. There is no rush. There is benefit to creating space for reflection and prayer.


  • What do you notice? What parts of the image are your eyes, and your attention, drawn to?

  • Why does your attention go there? What is drawing you to that specific part of the artwork?

  • Reflect on what emotions this image stirs up.


Now read through the story one more time:


What must it be like to see your mother as you are walking to your own execution? Mary gave birth to this boy, she brought him as an infant into the temple, she lifted him up in her arms when the wise men came to adore him. She fled with him to Egypt, she took him up to Jerusalem when he was 12 years old. He lived with her at Nazareth for 30 years. She was with him at the marriage feast. Even when he had left her to preach, she hovered about him. And now she’s there to give him comfort at the hour of his death.



Read this response written by Lisa Holmlund:

No, I didn’t know. I didn’t know that this decision to be faithful in delivering the son of God would be in turn the hardest experience I could have ever imagined. No, I didn’t know that this son that I delivered would soon deliver me. And I am not sure that I am ready to have him deliver me.

I see this pain in his eyes. I see the fear in his muscles. And as a mother knows her son, she knows when there is desperation in the soul. I can’t rescue this. I can’t pick up the pieces of this. I can’t bear to continue seeing the plagues of pain, deceit, and abuse be given to my boy. Yet here I am. And I have no choice but to remember the words I first heard about this baby… given to me by the angel Gabriel, saying “Mary, do not be afraid.”

If I had known what the depth of those words would be throughout my lifetime, his lifetime, I would have begun to shake at the core from the beginning of hearing them. But, you, Oh Lord my deliverer. You have called me to live a life of faith through this journey of being the mother of Jesus. Of being the mother of the messiah, the one who would save us from all suffering. And I stand here, seeing my son suffer.

Faith. Faith is what I promised myself to have as I hid your words in my heart those 34 years ago. I conceived you, sweet boy, in my heart before I conceived you through birth. And it was faith that walked with me as your father considered walking away from this calling to be your earthly father. My calling was to just be faithful. Just be faithful to carrying you as my son and as the son of the most High God. Just be faithful to trusting that you are a GOOD God, who is faithful in return, even on the darkest night of our souls. Just be faithful to remember in the end, this is not about me. This is about YOUR son, too…and YOUR ways are higher and more lifegiving than my ways. Your ways will create a way for our shame, our fears, our sins to be forgiven, because you have chosen to allow YOUR only son to suffer and die for us, for me. Your son WILL deliver me. And because of this truth, I will do my best to just be faithful in allowing him to walk this journey to the cross that was part of your plan from the beginning.




Take a final minute of silence and reflection. When you are ready, conclude your time with this simple prayer:

“Jesus, you made this journey for me. Amen.”

Thank you so much for joining us today. If this podcast is meaningful to you, we’d love if you shared it on whatever social media you like to spend your time. Whatever help this provides for you, we’d love to share that with others. Grace to you.




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