Monday, November 25, 2013

Broken Boundaries

Today I read Luke 15.  It's a familiar chapter.  It begins with the Pharisees and scribes grumbling about the fact that Jesus welcomes sinners and eat with them.  This was a big deal.  According to my study bible, "What one eats and with whom one eats are key issues in drawing and maintaining socioreligious boundaries."  We get nervous when boundaries fall, don't we?

That idea wasn't what I started to write about this morning, but it does strike me as I look at it.  We do get nervous when boundaries fall.

I remember one Maudy Thursday years ago.  Our church, each Thursday, holds a service/meal called Common Grounds.  It started as a program for college students, but God changed it to a meal for homeless or marginally homeless people.  We get nervous when God breaks down boundaries.  On this particular Maudy Thursday, a meal was planned.  The entire church was invited to share a meal that evening -- the Sunday group, and the Common Grounds group, together.  One Sunday morning parishioner was heard to ask, "Are we supposed to sit with them and eat?"  She wasn't being mean -- she was just nervous, because God was breaking down boundaries.

We know how to function within our boundaries.  When the boundaries fall, we have to adapt, and change is hard.  I don't judge her, but I am aware that I have the same nervousness.  I like my boundaries, and I get nervous when God takes them down.

May we all take up the challenge of broken boundaries.



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