What Does It Mean to Be a People of . . . THRESHOLDS?
In the month of May we are exploring what it means to be a people of thresholds. Thresholds, those liminal, in-between places, that can be both transformational and uncomfortable. Thresholds can be physical, like doorways and entrances. They can also be symbolic: rituals like graduations, weddings, memorials, and child dedications. The crossing of these thresholds are imbued with meaning. They mark a change or transformation in us and around us. What do we learn from being in-between? In the places where the sacred and the ordinary meet, where the known and the unknown meet, and where life and death meet. Soul matters describes being a people of thresholds as the practice of courageously stepping into the unknown and the new.
Reflections on Thresholds:
What if the true invitation of a threshold is not to successfully move from here to there, but instead to just sit and pause? What if we saw thresholds as resting places rather than as those moving walkways that transport us through airports? What if thresholds help us “become” by asking us to just “be” for a while? No moving. Just noticing and naming. Less traveling and more listening.
Here’s how the writer Gary Zukav puts it, “At that moment [of realization], a threshold is crossed. What seemed unthinkable becomes thinkable… Once that realization has emerged, you can either honor it or ignore it, but you cannot forget it. What has become known cannot become unknown again.”
So friends, maybe our question this month isn’t “Are you ready to change?” but “How have you already changed?” How have you already passed through? How is your “threshold work” the work of noticing a shift inside you that has already occurred?
There is, after all, no forgetting it. Only living it. And letting it live in us.
The practice of courageously stepping into the dark
The practice of bravely leaving our safe and comfortable homes behind
The practice of leaning into the lure of a new you
Find or Create a “Thin Place” of Your Own
When talking about thresholds in a religious context, inevitably the topic of “thin places” will come up. It’s a term that is used to draw our attention to those spaces and moments when “the veil” between the ordinary and the sacred grows porous and we encounter the world and ourselves in a new way, even a transformative way.
This exercise is about having that encounter for ourselves.
Start with a bit of reading. Using the suggested articles below, spend some time this month learning about how others define and experience the thin places in their lives.
From there, figure out a way to find or create a thin place of your own. Many of us will likely remember a thin place experience from our past right away. Reconnecting with such memories is a gift in and of itself. But don’t stop there. The deeper gift lies in knowing that thin places are available in our daily living all the time.
So give yourself that gift, that encounter, this month.
Suggested Reading on Thin Places
- Finding “Thin Places”
- Stories of Personal Thin Places
Taking It Home: Ideas for All Ages
The Door of Shelter;
May Nothing Evil Cross this Door: Explore the ways that thresholds protect us.
Create a Door of Shelter from a large piece of cardboard (such as from an appliance box) or several poster boards taped together. Cut out a door in the cardboard. Tape the entire sheet with the cut out door to the door frame of your hall or room, creating a separate smaller door inside the regular door. Label it the “Door of Shelter” Later, you may wish to invite the children to decorate it for use during the rest of the month.
Variation: Make a Welcoming Arch, a smaller version of a whole door.
The Three Little Pigs, by Mei Matsuoka (Author)
“”Then I’ll HUFF and I’ll PUFF and I’ll blow your house down!” cried the wolf. Find out what happens when the three little pigs build homes made of straw, sticks, and bricks.” – Amazon
Stories Used In Worship and Classes This Month:
Soul Matters Music Playlists:
Discover musical inspiration on each of our themes through monthly playlists:
Join us to deepen our faith together:
- Explore resources related to the monthly theme (links above)
- Attend Sunday worship
- Request information about small group ministry (Growth and Learning Lead)
- Request a copy of Soulful Home (thematic resources for families)
- Join our Parent Group (to discuss the themes in relation to parenting)
Resources on this page adapted from Soul Matters May 2020.