Come away with me to a lonely place…

Mark 6:31

This time of year I’m mindful of our brothers and sisters in Christ at Living Word, Katy, who have just returned from visiting dear friends at Iglesia Luterana Luz Divina, in Lima, Peru. Some of us have been going for twelve years, weeping with those who weep, rejoicing with those who rejoice, sharing our lives together. It is liminal space, a place apart.

Liminal Space. It’s the place where we get away. It’s the Israelites in the wilderness. Jesus in the desert. The disciples on the mountain. Paul in the wilderness. For many liminal space is summer camp, sabbatical, vacation, holiday travel to visit loved ones, retreat, continuing education, cultural immersion. It is a place apart, away from the routines and daily grind.

Liminal space gives us a great gift: perspective. It gives us a place to step away from our lives, and see them from outside. It is a place to dream. We can rethink ourselves, reinvent, recreate. All the great prophets got out of dodge. Some suggest there is no spiritual growth without liminal space.

Getting out of our cultural box changes us. We view our culture through the eyes of another. We see the strengths and the weaknesses of our own place in the universe. We are challenged and inspired. Although the forces of inertia are strong to pull us back into the familiar routines when we return, we cannot possibly return unchanged. The journey alters the course of our lives.

As you go into the place apart, find quiet. Listen for the life-changing voice of God.

Good and gracious God, you called Abraham and Sarah to leave the comforts of home and trust you in a place they did not know. As we journey from home and family, walk with us.

Give us eyes to see your Christ in the eyes of those we meet along the road.

Give us ears to hear the rustling of your Spirit.

Give us hearts to feel the challenge of being a stranger in a new land.

Give us courage to surrender to the experience.

May our hearts might be drawn to love what you love, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.