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 Happy New Year everyone!

The New Year marks a threshold, we begin a fresh and look forward to the coming year. A bible quote from John’s Gospel is often used at the start of the year, ‘Behold I stand at the door and knock.’ At the time of Jesus, the traditional way to show any guest that they were welcome, was for the host to pour out the blood of an animal or bird in a basin that was permanently set into the threshold of his house. The-more important the guest, the more costly the animal would be that was offered, in this way. When the guest stepped over the threshold he had not just entered into the house, He ended into a covenant with the host.

This covenant meant that the host and guest would honour and respect each other and the family. The guest would be treated as part of the family for as long as he remained under the family’s roof. This was called a threshold covenant. 

This covenant was not only applied to guests. When a son married, he would pour out the blood of the most expensive animal or bird, that he could afford, in the threshold of his father’s house ready for when he returned with his new bride. The poured out, blood confirmed and made legal covenant, she was about to enter into, not just with her groom, but with the whole family.

Having prepared the threshold in this way, when the final ceremony, the Nissuin, was complete, the groom would then pick up his bride in his arms and carry her over the threshold, over the blood that was poured out in the threshold of his Fathers house!

I think it’s true to say that most of us have seen a groom carry his bride over the threshold of their home, whether personally, or on the television, or when watching a film. But most of us don’t realise that this tradition of being carried over the threshold, began a long time ago and originates from the threshold covenant. 

The threshold covenant was behind the words of Jesus when he told the people in John 10:9 ‘I am the door if anyone enters by me, he will be saved I’ll go out and find pasture.’ This is a reference to the threshold covenant and the full meaning behind it can be hidden from in our own culture. The scripture, ‘behold I stand at the door and knock’. Is a request for us to open the door to Him so that He can come into our ‘house’. If we do that and open our door to Him, then it can be said that we have ‘Christ’ in us.

 The new year presents us with many opportunities to improve our lives joining a gym, going on a diet giving up drinking or smoking, but what about our spiritual life.? Could this be the time to reconsider what Christianity has to offer?

Click Here for to Contact Rector: Rev. David Howell
Please note that FRIDAY is my day off!

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