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A Liminal Place

Limen is the Latin word for threshold.  A “liminal space” is the crucial in-between time—when everything actually happens and yet nothing appears to be happening.  It is the waiting period when the cake bakes, the movement is made, the transformation takes place.  One cannot just jump from Friday to Sunday in this case, there must be Saturday!  This, of course, was always the holy day for the Jewish tradition.  The Sabbath rest was the pivotal day for the Jews, and even the dead body of Jesus rests on Saturday, waiting for God to do whatever God plans to do.  It is our great act of trust and surrender, both together.  A new “creation ex nihilo” is about to happen, but first it must be desired….

Remember, hope is not some vague belief that “all will work out well,” but biblical hope is the certainty that things finally have a victorious meaning no matter how they turn out. We learned that from Jesus, which gives us now the courage to live our lives forward from here.  Maybe that is the full purpose of Lent.

- Richard Rohr, Wondrous Encounters: Scripture for Lent (St. Anthony Messenger Press, 2010), pp. 141-143.