[This reflection was shared as the Closing Blessings for students at our Spring 2022 Convocation on January 24, 2022.]

In life, we will cross many thresholds. The counting of our days on this earth begins with a crossing of thresholds, from wombs to arms, and we catch our first breaths, and we utter our first cries—as if to portent, that even as infants, there are unknowns and uncertainties we will face when we cross thresholds.

Some threshold crossings fill us with comfort like the rest that moves us from states of tiredness into a new vitality or when we cross from a challenge into a victory.

Other thresholds lead to narrow roadways of deep grief; these may be times when death visits us unwelcomed, separating us from the physical presence of those we love and love us back, whether it was their time or not, we will live through the pain.

And at times, we encounter ourselves faced with a decision to cross a sacred threshold, knowing all too well that our lives will shift, change, grow, expand, and that we will even unburden ourselves from stuff it was not ours to carry once we arrive at the other end. A new semester of theological education is one of those thresholds. Let us cross this one with the knowledge that we are not alone in this journey, that there will be joy. There will be times that the sweetness of our joys will be soured with sorrow, but we do so, holding on to the promise that living our lives with compassion and in service towards others it is worth the journey and the crossing.