Reflection on the Eleventh Station
By The Rev. Canon Amy Coultas
“By your holy cross you have redeemed the world.” This is the statement we make at the opening of each station as we follow in the steps of Christ’s passion. In this introduction, we proclaim we are moved to adoration and blessing because the cross has brought redemption for the whole world. As we move together through Holy Week, looking forward to Easter, we will be brought to the foot of the cross. We will witness as Jesus is hung to the wooden beams with nails driven into his flesh. It is not an abstract suffering: it is a real body enduring real pain. We will continue proclaiming that this crucifixion brings forth adoration and blessing because it witnesses to God’s experience of sacrifice on behalf of the whole world.
Our acts of adoration at the foot of the cross bring into focus our shared identity with all those crowded into its shadow; we stand in the same place with our siblings who face the most brutal human injustices and suffering. From the perspective of the hard wood of the cross, every human is equal and worthy of its saving embrace. There is no one who does not come within its reach. We cannot look at the faraway neighbor, the family crossing borders, or the desperate sea-drifter as any less present to its witness. All of us come to the cross with hope, looking for grace and merciful rescue. Its power to assure us of a new future falls over all who come into its shadow.
The Rev. Canon Amy Real Coultas is Canon to the Ordinary in the Diocese of Kentucky. She serves on the board of Kentucky Refugee Ministries, which has worked with local congregations to resettle refugee families across Kentucky for 30 years. She is a native of Louisville, where she lives with her husband, Kevin.