The Thin Blue Line

Image by Michelle Maria from Pixabay

Editor’s note … our guest devotioneer this week, Brendan Armitage, sent me this devotion a couple of months ago, suggesting that it could be used “anytime”. It was not connected to a particular church season or holiday. He said I could use it when I needed a week off. I instead, wanted to find the right place for it. I reread it a couple of times, but did not sense a moment of “kairos” … a moment of God’s “opportune time” to use the devotion … until yesterday. The image of isolation … that ‘thin line” that separates life from death … that razor-sharp focus on our Savior who pulls us through the experience of being lost at sea (or in our homes, isolated from others) … are the images that spoke to me deeply today. I pray they will speak to you, too. Thank you, Brendan.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

~~ 2 Corinthians 12:9

It’s a thin blue line.  Not the “thin blue line” that separates the police from those policed, but a thin blue line, ever-present, seldom-changing, when you are on the sea.  The horizon defines the world; that which lies on and above the sea and that which lies below it.  A thin blue line.

Our sea is a grayed-blue today, almost to black.  The clouds above dampening the crystal that otherwise illumines the water.  The ship’s prow creates what little difference there is in our ocean; the foam lightening the sea into a steady supply of turquoise as it passes by, quickly absorbed into the surrounding water, leaving only a seaweed of white foam to litter the surface.  Other than that, there is nothing here to see but that menacing thin blue line.

Our lives are all about the obfuscation of reality, the cries of “fake news”, and the confusion as to what our neighbor means by a hand gesture, a remark or an emoji.  Our geography, our language, and even our literature (are there really 50 Shades of Gray?), obscures the clarity of our reality as Christians that, in the end, we’re either with God or out on our own.  We rely on our Bible, our church and perhaps most simply, the 10 commandments to know when we are on one side or the other of God’s thin blue line.

So, as you consider your day just past or your day just yet ahead, reflect on the grace that pulls you, inexorably, back onto the right side of that thin blue line.  Pray for the acceptance of your life as a chronic sinner and as a faithful Christian.  We will sin today and we will sin tomorrow, but…it is your trust, it is your faith, it is your knowledge sure and certain that Our Lord is your Savior (and mine)…Yes.  That is what has and will pull us out of the water and across that thin blue line, to grace.  

Thanks be to God. See you in church.

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Rev. Craig Ross

Senior Pastor

The vibrancy of life here at St. Peter’s makes my service on our staff a joy and privilege. Visitation, teaching and preaching are the ministries that feed my pastoral identity, as together our staff and lay members share in our missional calling … Building a community of faith by God’s grace.

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