Sacred spaces - Hope 103.2

Sacred spaces

By David ReayWednesday 18 Dec 2013LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Acts 16:13

On the sabbath day we went outside the gate by the river,where we supposed there was a place of prayer; and we sat down and spoke to the women who had gathered there. (NRSV)

It has become commonplace to remind people that the church is not a building. It is people. To be a church does not require a building. These women at Philippi didn’t need a building and one would probably be denied to them anyway. Prayer to God and mutual encouragement can happen anywhere.

And yet we dare not dismiss the significance of what might be called sacred places. Not that these places are inherently holy,not that these places are the only places where we encounter God. But there is such a thing as the power of association. Some places,some buildings,evoke memories,feelings,thoughts that cause us to draw closer to God.

This is why it is foolish to simply see church buildings as mere glorified rain shelters. True,they are no more the ‘house of God’ than any other place (God dwells in his people not in buildings). But this doesn’t mean buildings or places are irrelevant.

They are places where stories are shared and have been shared over years. They give an outward shape to our multiple inward encounters with God and his people.
God might live in his people,but those people yet inhabit spaces and places and so give them special meaning. Jesus had no problem with being at the temple or at synagogues. We dare not get more spiritual than him!

David Reay

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