Living On The Edge
They asked Jesus: Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and other outcasts? Jesus answered them: People who are well do not need a doctor… Luke 5: 30
Jesus lived life with the marginalised – the lepers, prostitutes and tax-collectors. Jesus was edged out of the synagogue, out of the temple, out of the city, out of society and out of life – yet remained totally in touch with the heart of life.
Celtic Christians have a strong sense of living on ‘edges’ or ‘boundary places’ between the material world and the other world. Dr. George MacLeod, founder of the Iona Community, spoke of Iona as a ‘thin place’ where the membrane between this world and the other world, between the material and the spiritual, was very permeable. This sense of living in a ‘between place’ enabled Celtic Christians to make connections between the physical and the intangible, the seen and the unseen, this world and a permanent ‘other’ world.
Philip Sheldrake Living Between Worlds
Many ancient Celtic sites are on the edge – Iona, Lindisfarne, Whitby, Jarrow, Burgh, Bradwell, Whithorn. At the edge we see horizons denied to those who stay in the middle.
Walking along a cliff-top our bodies and souls face each other and that is how we grow.
The edge is in fact always the centre of spiritual renewal. We are called to mould the kingdoms of the earth so that they reflect the Kingdom of Heaven. Any Christian movement that becomes respectable risks being brought from the edge to the centre – and so risks being given the kiss of death. How will I keep myself on the spiritual edge?
Reflections from Martin Wallace
Lead me from that which fades to that which endures
Lead me from day’s dawning to Light eternal
Lead from tide’s turning to heaven’s ocean of Love
Lead me from the shore’s edge to eternal life
Lead me from serving the weakest to finding the Highest.