SESSION 3: Simon of Cyrene


As they went out, they came upon a man from Cyrene named Simon; they compelled this man to carry his cross.

Matthew 27:32



I was minding my own business.  I don’t want to get involved in anybody’s business, never mind their politics.  Why did they pick on me? Why do I have to bear the pain of a stranger?


Questions to ask yourself:

Have you ever felt like Simon of Cyrene or had a similar experience?

What happened?

How did the situation develop?

What regrets do you have?

Did anything about the experience bring you a sense of satisfaction?



Find something that reflects your experience and the experience of Simon of Cyrene.  It could be: a poem, a hymn, a song, a novel or story, another book, a film, a picture or artwork.  Bring it with you to the session, so that you can tell the group what it means for you.



A time for everyone to share their thoughts, memories, experiences and the items they have brought.  Listen carefully and respectfully to what everyone has to say. 




Bring to mind an experience when you have been:

  • helped by another person
  • denied help by another person

Remember the incident.  Play it over in your mind like a watching a film.  Look at all the details.  Note how you felt at the time, and the feelings that the memory is drawing up for you.  Bring those feelings before God – just hold them before God’s light.  What happens when you hold these innermost feelings in God’s light?  (allow 5-10 minutes for this)


Then together as a group, name the people you want to hold in God’s light, the people who need Jesus to come alongside them for whatever reason.  (allow 5 minutes for this)


For the times when we turn away,

when we don’t want to get involved,

have mercy on us.

For the times when we end up carrying the cross,

despite our very best intentions,

have mercy on us.

For the times when we find ourselves following you,

quite unexpectedly,

have mercy on us.

And for the mercy you have always shown us,

every step of the way,

we give you thanks O LordAmen