We are halfway between Christmas and Easter. Walking the way; journeying from stable to cross. Journeying from birth to death and resurrection. The joy of Christmas is over, and the relentless march towards the inevitable is about to start. The shadow of the cross falls across the stable. It’s a liminal time, a catalyst time.
This photo was taken by Kathryn Newman, one of the St Andrew’s Scarborough church family, who has an eye for seeing the meaningful in the everyday. In a world with both darkness and light a shadowy figure of change is approaching and we don’t know whether to fear it or welcome it. The shadow of the cross is approaching. Do we fear the desolation or welcome the hope of the resurrection.
God separated the light from the darkness and named the light “Day” and the darkness “Night” but God also created the twilight in between; dawn and dusk, liminal times, catalyst times. God created water and land but also marsh and beach; liminal places and catalyst spaces. God created man and woman; but also liminal people in between, who are often catalysts for change in our society and churches.
February is LGBT+ history month, and one of the themes for this year is catalyst. How can we be catalysts of change in our churches and communities? We look at the URC’s future and see a shadowy figure of change approaching. We don’t know whether to fear it or welcome it. Just like the approaching shadow of the cross, we must choose whether to fear the desolation or welcome the hope of the resurrection.
We, as church, inhabit a liminal time and space. We can choose to pray that the shadow of change will pass by, or we can be catalysts. We can fling open the door and welcome change. Once we get a clear look at its face, it won’t be so scary, because the shadowy stranger is made in Christ’s image too. You can’t have shadows without light. Even the shadow of change relies on, and is created by, the light of life; Christ.
Rev Jo Clare-Young