Devotion: Love without borders

June 15, 2020

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

I heard a story today about a young couple who planned to get married on May 8th. They had a problem though. Ryan Hamilton lives in Bellingham, Washington and Savannah Koop lives just over the Canadian border in Abbotsford, British Columbia. They found out on March 20th that due to the Covid-19, the border between the United States and Canada was closing the next day on March 21st to all nonessential travel.  Getting married was considered to be nonessential. The couple panicked as they tried to sort out if one should go to the other to get across the border before it closed... and it was too late. Savannah said, “That was incredibly heartbreaking.”

They took to walking daily along either side of a six foot ditch which marked the boundary between the United States and Canada.  Then in mid-May Peace Arch Park reopened, which is a park that sits between the boundaries of the U.S. and Canada. They started meeting there, holding hands and sharing food. And so now they come together on this little island between the two countries as they wait for the borders to open so they can marry - borders which cannot separate Ryan and Savannah in their love. [1]

In the above passage from Paul’s letter to the Romans, he writes about all the boundaries and borders that we may fear can keep us apart from the love of God: death, earthly powers, things going on in the present or things we fear to come, physical distance (think of six foot ditches), or absolutely anything in all the created world. Nothing, nothing, Paul affirms, can separate us from the love of God which is in Jesus Christ our Lord.  The love of God is like the Peace Arch Park, a space where there are no boundaries.  When we live in the love of God in Jesus Christ, it is like permanently living in Peace Arch Park.  Nothing can keep us apart in this sacred space. The world may have its boundaries, but these do not define us, for God’s love transcends these worldly borders now in the present and in the future.  In the same way, when we live in the love of Christ with each other, worldly divisions fall away and we find ourselves in a new place of hope, healing and peace.

Prayer: O God you offer us space in your love to move freely, trusting that you are ever with us.  Let us rest assured in your promises and find peace. Amen.