Wednesday, January 23, 2013, DAY 6: Walking beyond barriers

            Walking with God means walking beyond  barriers that divide and damage the children of God. The biblical readings on this day look at various ways in which human barriers are overcome, culminating in St Paul‘s teaching that ―As many of you were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. 


Psalm 113

He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
he seats them with princes,
with the princes of his people.
He settles the childless woman in her home
as a happy mother of children.

            In my everyday life I see God… I just have to open my eyes. I see Him in the face of the man as he brushes off the dust of the street, lifted into the safety of an open shelter bed. I celebrate Him through the transformation of a homeless family when they are finally offered a safe place to stay.
And, I rage in anger as I look into the face of a battered mother who comes to the realization that to keep her family safe she must flee with just the clothes on their backs, while her abuser stays in their home. How does God want me to respond when I open my eyes to the injustice in our world? Micah 6: 6-8 reminds me to do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with our God. I think I understand the why – for me it’s more a question of how?
Like many, I tend to take on those actions that fit most comfortably into my schedule without sacrificing much to take on the more difficult work of justice. Left unchecked, this fast paced, always connected world can leave me with precious little time to reflect on ways God wants me to walk with him. God is calling me to adjust my priorities, and find a way to reflect more deeply, and act on those barriers that hold me back from speaking against injustice. Through Him, I can find the strength to be open to engaging in the hard work of creating a more just world.

Lisa Gustaveson, MNPL
Family Homelessness Program Manager
Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry


Father, forgive us for the barriers of greed, prejudice, and contempt that we continually build which separate us within and between churches, from people of other faiths, and from those we consider to be less important than us. May your Spirit give us courage to cross these boundaries, and to tear down the walls that disconnect us from each other. Then with Christ may we step forth into unknown terrain, to carry his message of loving acceptance and unity to all the world. God of life, lead us to justice and peace. Amen.


  1. What are the barriers that separate Christians in your community?
  2. What are the barriers that separate Christians from other religious traditions in your community?
  3. 3.      What are the differences and similarities between walking beyond the barriers that separate Christians from one another, and walking beyond those between Christianity and other religions?


  1. Thank you for your reflection on barriers that keep us separated and those we hide behind when God calls us into action. I see the results of these barriers in my work with youth who are incarcerated and I am reminded to turn to God for sustenance and guidance and to make time for deep listening and prayer so that I may be renewed to continue and encouraged to go beyond to greater unity with those who need love and support in our world.

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