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June 22
Crossing Boundaries
Psalm 9:9-20; 1 Samuel 17:1, 4-11, 19-23, 32-49; 2 Corinthians 6:1-13; Mark 4:35-41

Crossing boundaries—of gender, race, or culture—is one of the most difficult activities in human experience. Perhaps the most difficult boundary to cross is that between injustice and justice. Mark tells the story of Jesus trying to cross the lake Gennesaret from the Jewish (albeit Galilean) side to the Gentile territory of the Gerasenes (Mark 4:35-41). The boundary in this story is between Jesus as prophet to the Jews, on one side, and to the whole of humanity, as symbolized by the Gentile community across the water. The cosmic forces of opposition are expressed in the wind and the rain; the boat is almost overwhelmed.

Any community that embarks seriously on bringing about reconciliation needs to recognize the potential for shipwreck! Paul, in his letters to Corinth, emphasizes the difficulties Christians face in retaining their integrity, and he speaks from his own experience. This part of Paul's letter is not a challenge to individuals primarily, but to the whole community—which is in danger of exchanging a commitment to justice, with its attendant risks of persecution, for moral compromise with the governing authorities. The law breaking that Paul has in mind here is the law of God, which requires the pursuit of justice and fidelity.

Reflection and Action

Where are the boundaries that need crossing in your life and community? What keeps you from crossing them? Why are you still frightened? Have you still no faith? Plan some simple boundary-crossing activity.

PETER B. PRICE is general secretary of the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, an Anglican mission agency based in London, and practices—with his wife, Dee—a ministry of hospitality.

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