Monday, December 29
for Sunday, January 4, 2nd Sunday after Christmas
READ: Ephesians 1.3-14 “trespass”
REFLECT: All is quiet, the landscape blanketed with snow. A pair of adolescents approach a wooden rail fence. They stand leaning over it, gazing into the distance at the so-called “haunted house,” daring each other to cross over the boundary. A “no trespassing” sign hangs crookedly next to them. Clearly, there is no real threat here. This is the scene that unfolds in my mind as I begin to read through this passage, and chew on the word “trespass.”
As I continue reading, I think about the human impulse to push our boundaries and test our freedom. And I think about the social constructs of those boundaries, those cages we build to keep others in their places – women, minorities, people experiencing homelessness, and more. I think about a friend telling me that she had to teach her son to keep his hands out of his pockets so that other people could see that he had nothing to hide.
Praying now, “a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him” tugged at my sleeve and brought me back to that first image. The fence rails were lifted up out of the ground and evaporated, the boundaries — created by humans – were no more. They were put there to keep us separated from one another, a symbol of fear. And I saw that what was truly haunted about that house were the generations of myth and lies that surrounded it. Stories that reinforced the power of the storyteller through the maintenance of fear.
We learn early on not to trespass, not to go beyond our own boundaries. But we must be discerning about who has created those boundaries and why. Whose interest does it serve to maintain the boundaries that keep us separated from one another, that keep “others” in their places?
RESPOND: God, forgive us. Forgive us, forgive us. We are blind and ignorant and fearful. Give us courage to see the boundaries in our society, in our communities, and in our own hearts – and then to trespass against them.
What boundaries are rooted in your heart? From what or whom do they protect you? On what fears are they based? What if now is the “fullness of time”? What might it look like to trespass against those boundaries and dispel the myths and lies that surround them?
LECTIONARY TEXTS FOR THE UPCOMING SUNDAY (and for you to try on your own):
John 1.(1-9), 10-18
Lectio Divina Paci is a weekly devotional guide by Audrey Hindes for peacemakers in the lectio divina form. Lectio Divina (Latin for divine reading) is a traditional Benedictine practice of scripture reading, prayer, meditation, and reflection that treats scripture as the Living Word. Lectio Divina Paci is an opportunity for peacemakers to become more in tune with the voice of the Prince of Peace.