Liminal Living

V. J. Berry

Copyright 2012 by V. J. Berry

            Liminal space or existence in religion is a sacred space in which dwells a sacred time. It means a threshold; for the Christian, it means we live between heaven and the world. We are ready on the threshold to step over into heaven, but have not yet received the call. Living in the liminal (limen) is also described as “in-between-ness” and “already, but not yet.”  For the Christians who are part of the Kingdom of God on Earth, this means the “already” pertains to victory over sin, death, and hell (1 Cor. 15); the “not yet” means that Christians are still living in a fallen world where sin is rampaging. We live with God’s promise of victory, but have yet to enjoy the glory of heaven. Paul wrote of this in Philippians 3:18-21. And while we wait, we live in the limen, waiting for our call to cross over the threshold.

            Theologians point to two examples in the Old Testament of liminal space. One of the examples is about Jacob’s encounter with God between Heaven and Earth (Gen. 28:12-19); the other is about Isaiah’s meeting with God in the temple of holiness (Isa. 6:1-6). Theologians also suggest that a person experiences the revelation of sacred knowledge from God in this manner.

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