Recognising the importance of crossing thresholds as lockdown eases

A general view of the street in Newham, east London, where a dog mauled five police officers during

Many religions include symbols or icons just inside front doors - Credit: PA Images

When we moved into a house in Forest Gate that had been the home of a Jewish family, I was fascinated to see a little case fixed to the doorpost and I discovered that it’s called a mezuzah.

The case contains a piece of parchment inscribed with a prayer, written in Hebrew, to fulfil the Biblical commandment that Jewish people should write the words of God on their doorposts.

And I’ve seen people touch a mezuzah, marking their going out or coming in, reminding themselves of God’s blessing.

As Christians, Christopher and I have got a crucifix and an icon of the Holy Trinity by our front door. Others might have the all-seeing eye amulet in the window, religious pictures or texts, or perhaps some holy water – all marking that moment of crossing a threshold and our need to recognise that God is with us.

Rev Ann Easter

Cllr Rev Ann Easter feels the importance of thresholds - Credit: Isabel Infantes

Muslim families sometimes place a little prayer by the front door, asking for God’s protection as they leave, while a Sikh place of worship is called a Gurdwara which means a doorway to the house of God.

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Many Hindus use statues of their Gods to give grace and blessing to the home.

There’s no doubt that thresholds are important points for crossing over and venturing out from the security and comfort of our homes into new and different experiences.

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And now and over the next few weeks, we’ll be crossing a big threshold as we move, gently and carefully, from lockdown into the new normal and, although it’s a great relief and rather exciting, we are quite rightly feeling apprehensive too about how life will be changed and how we will cope.

Whatever the future holds, we can be assured that God and the whole company of Heaven go with us, encouraging, supporting and protecting, as always.

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