Some places are spoken of as liminal places, or holy places, places where the veil between heaven and earth seem very thin. Places that move us, places where we feel close to God, places where we feel a sense of peace and that God is close. For some people that place is building – maybe a church or cathedral; for others it may outside by a stream, by the sea, in a forest, or maybe up a mountain or hillside – or simply a place that is special to us. These places are important to us, because we know that if we go there we feel different, we are lifted, we gain a sense of calm and healing. Some people also have that effect upon us. We know that in their presence we feel connected to a deeper part of ourselves. Times of the year, and seasons can be liminal times for us also. Easter, Christmas, Spring, Autumn – times when we feel connected – connected with life, with God; connected with a sense of well-being. Lent and Advent are like that for me,
This day, this celebration, is a reminder to us that while we may have our special places, times, and moments – everyday is a sacred day, every place is a sacred place, every moment is a sacred moment, every experience in life is a threshold, a threshold that can open us up to God’s presence in life, whether we realise it or not.
Last night, at the Lighting of the Easter Fire, the Exsultet was sung, the Great Easter Proclamation, that reminds us that we live in a world of resurrection and new beginnings; a world touched, blessed, redeemed, by God. A world in constant renewal. “This is the night” – we heard sung – “when heaven is wedded to earth and all creation is reconciled.”
Yes, this is a world that has many Good Fridays to bear, a world scarred by violence, injustice, war, and suffering. But this holy day reminds us that in the midst of all that is resurrection; in the midst of that is God’s presence and love, continually bringing hope, bringing renewal, healing, growth, and holiness.
This is a holy, auspicious, liminal time, because it is a time that reminds us that nothing can separate us from the love of God. Holy week and Easter remind us that God is deeply present and embedded in besieged war torn cities. God is deeply embedded in the poverty of refugee camps. God is deeply embedded in sickness, viruses, infections and tragedy. God is deeply embedded in the midst of all the horror that human kind is capable of creating. Nothing can ever separate us from the loving Presence of God.
Easter does not deny the suffering in the world, it does not try and sugar coat it and say “everything is ok really.” What Easter does is remind us that suffering does not have the final word. The final word belongs with God. And that word is love.
Yes, we all have our special places, moments, events, and people. But these are not an escape from the real world – they are a reminder that if we stick with it, we will discover, that every event and experience is a doorway to God’s presence and love; because our living, loving God is behind every door.
May this Easter be for you a new opening into that Living Presence – and may each day be for you a thin place, a liminal place, that reveals the wonder and glory of the Risen Christ in the very midst of life – whatever it may bring.
Thank you for making this Lenten and Holy Week journey with us. May God Bless you this Easter time and renew you with His Risen Life.