From the Evangelist Desk June edition 2011.
Where’s your Sacred Space?
Recently I have been discussing with people the changes that have taken place within society even since I was licensed as an Evangelist.
During our training we talked about and even had a placement to explore where there was church, the fringe and un-churched. The fringe is those who dip in and out of church, those who attend on the special occasions such as Easter and Christmas for example to name just a few.
The fringe consisted of quite a large group of people, those who could be spoken to and would attend the odd event in the name of the church. Today however it is a different story. The fringe is decreasing and the gap is more common between churched and un-churched.
Your Sacred Space I believe is utilised by nearly everybody irrespective of whether the go to church or have no church background. We all have somewhere where we go and feel that we can collect ourselves. Take a break, recharge after a long day or week.
If we now look at the passage below, Jesus went up a mountainside by himself to pray. I feel that this passage shows us that a Sacred Space can be time spent alone as well as a physical location, for Christian’s to converse with the Lord, for un-churched, to recharge, as stated above.
Matthew 14: 22-23
Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.(NIV)
So where is your Sacred Space? Mine is sometimes the bedroom, where I shut the door, close down all distractions and pray for the Lord’s guidance and to open my mind to what I am about to do. I then either read a passage from Scripture and reflect on the passage, or contemplate asking the Lord to open my mind to what He wants, or I spend the time reading Scripture and meditating on the Word of the Lord.
My Sacred Space is also anywhere outside, where I feel drawn to the wonders of the Lord’s creation. Just thinking how blessed I am to witness to the greatness of His world, the trees, the birds and animals and alike. Smiling when the rain strikes my bald patch, thinking the Lord has sent the rain to feed to crops, for the crops to grow to feed us.
Jesus shows us that our Sacred Space, the time we spend with our Father who art in heaven can be anywhere where we feel that we will be drawn closer to Him.
I remember a news item a few years ago regarding the ‘closed doors’ of the churches within inner cities and towns throughout our lands. And I think what a loss to modern society, where due to the actions of a few the church has to lock its doors to all. Happily I report that during the summer months many churches open the doors to people during the daylight hours.
Then I think of the loss to the church, where someone may wish to explore their feelings and are being pulled towards a church, they are not ready to join the body, but are ready to spend sometime alone with the Lord, in His House. They may not understand that He can in fact be found anywhere and everywhere they choose to look.
Remember when you have visited a church outside of service times and sat and enjoyed the peace and tranquillity that can only come from such a building with all its history? I do. And even today, although I have matured as a Christian, I still enjoy some quiet time in a Chapel or Church.
So where is your Sacred Space? On a mountainside like Christ? In the woods whilst walking the dog? Sitting by the waters edge listening to the lapping of that wet stuff when it reaches the bank? Sitting in your bedroom, door closed with all external distractions turned off, waiting, listening to what the Lord may wish to say to you?
Your Sacred Space can be wherever you want it to be, and the Sacred Space of time is between you and the Lord. ENJOY!
Yours in Christ,
© Rick Hayes, June 2011