October 14, 2013

Our "Liminal" Space

A recent sermon by Rev. Mark Longhurst, the Designated Pastor Of First Congregational Church in Williamstown, Massachusetts, made quite an impression on me.  

In his homily, Rev. Mark referred to churches that are in “liminal” space, that is on the “threshold” between traditional ways of doing things and new paths of service. Unexpectedly, I found in his sermon a message for each of us.

It occurred to me, as we greet each new day, we stand on a threshold between old routines and new opportunities to be more selfless, more considerate and more loving. Typically, we cross that threshold every day with the same old routines and habits, rarely challenging our attitudes or assumptions about life. 

Rev. Mark spoke about a new kind of “rummage sale” for churches in which  congregations dispose of traditional activities that no longer represent a church’s mission. Perhaps it’s time for each of us to schedule a personal rummage sale to rid us of those habits that no longer reflect the kind of person we want to be.  

Rev. Mark suggests there is transformative potential in “liminal” space.  I suggest that for each of us our “liminal” space is filled with promise, potential and awesome possibilities. Can people change? St. Paul thought so:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 21:5