The Fourth Station: Where do we fit?

March 5, 2010 § 3 Comments

As we walk with Jesus through the stations of the cross, pausing to contemplate these scenes of Jesus’ journey, we look for glimpses of ourselves. What within us is like Pontius Pilate? What is like Simon of Cyrene? What is like Jesus?  Where do we fit?

I’m always looking for myself like this in bible stories, trying to figure out what I would have done, trying to put myself in context. It’s tough isn’t it?  For me, the most difficult part has always been reconciling the gender inequality of the time with my own feminism.

Sexism is found in so many of the concepts and stories of our faith. A glaring example lies in one of my favorite fundamentals–the Holy Trinity. Contrary to most people’s struggle to understand its inherent paradox, it has always seemed both simple and awesome to me: God IS three in one; God is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  How wonderfully omniscient and life-affirming!  God is not only above us all, but within us, around us, and one of us.

What I struggle with most is, instead, the trinity’s gender bias. What about mothers and daughters?  What is meant by making a distinction between a father and a mother? It frustrates me, and sometimes, when I really start thinking about it, I begin to resent the fact that Jesus is a man entirely.  Why not a woman?! Where do I fit into this story?

Jesus speaks to women at this station.  He tells us not to cry for him, but for future generations, for our children. Jesus speaks to the mothers and daughters of Jerusalem, as someone who understands what they face.

I’m lucky to worship in a church where women are in our clergy, representing God to us day to day as rectors, as bishops, as presiding bishop.  In my life, my very own mother is a priest. And these women mostly use the title “Mother” — is their role different from our Fathers?

In Katharine Jefferts Schori’s first sermon as presiding bishop, she left us with an image not only of a Jesus who understands mothers, but rather Jesus as a mother:

“Our mother Jesus gives birth to a new creation — and you and I are His children.” I like to think of this image of Jesus when I struggle with these definitions.

– Julia Macy Stroud

Image: Jesus speaks to the women of Jerusalem, David O’Connell, St. Richard’s


§ 3 Responses to The Fourth Station: Where do we fit?

  • Mary Foulke says:

    Beautiful reflection, thank you!

  • I love this reflection, because it sends me in so many different places! I reflect on my own parents, on my parish, on priests I have known, and on my remarkable children! Thanks, Julia! Love, Mom

  • Cheri McCaslin says:

    Very insightful. I too struggle with the feminist thing. Where are women in all this. So many unnamed women in the bible who were crucial to the story and to moving our faith forward through the ages. Thanks be to God!

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