“A Protestant Walks the Via Dolorosa” by Ruth Everhart (Part 1)


Ruth Everhart is an author and Presbyterian minister living in the Washington, D.C., area. Her pilgrimage to the Holy Land — now recounted in memoir Chasing the Divine in the Holy Land — became a turning point in her life, helping her articulate the faith questions that evaded her through sixteen years of Christian education, four years of seminary, and more than twenty years of ministry.

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When Christian pilgrims go to Jerusalem, they often walk the path that Jesus took to Golgotha, which is called the Via Dolorosa (“The Way of Suffering”). Since the Byzantine era, pilgrims have traced this route, in some variation, pausing at fourteen “Stations of the Cross.”

Some of these stations are drawn from scripture. Others are what Catholics call “tradition,” but which I, as a Protestant, might call “apocryphal” with the bit of sneer that word holds.

Before I became a pilgrim, I…

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