“Liminal,” from the Latin limen, meaning door threshold, refers to transitional moments or spaces. You’ve left one place but you’re not yet in the next.
Anthropologists describe liminality as the ambiguity and disorientation that happens in rites of passage, when a person is finished with one stage, separated from their old habits and ways, but not quite landed in the next. Liminal times in our lives are both exciting and anxious, creative and exhausting. (Think middle school.)
One of you commented recently that we’re in a liminal time, and you were correct. We find ourselves between the pre-pandemic reality and the era post-vaccine. We stand between an awakening and calls to action around racial injustice and the outcomes of the activist work.
Our personal faith and faith community live in this liminal time, too. This Sunday we’ll hear from the prophet Jeremiah, warning his ancient faith community not to fall for false promises of peace in their own liminal time. During the Free Inquiry class, we’ll talk some more about where we’ve come from and the emerging shape of where we’re heading, in terms of church life and the life of faith.
The same person who was talking about being in a liminal time also commented that it’s a recipe for anxiety. She was right about that, too. One of the greatest gifts of religious faith – any religion, including following Jesus – is that we have resources for our anxiety. We can grieve, we can learn, we can pray, we can act for justice, we can love. Join us on Sunday, and may you know the power of God’s Spirit in our liminality!