Sacred spaces - Hope 103.2

Sacred spaces

By David ReayFriday 12 Sep 2014LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Genesis 28:16-19

16 Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said,”Surely the Lord is in this place,and I wasn’t even aware of it!” 17 But he was also afraid and said,”What an awesome place this is! It is none other than the house of God,the very gateway to heaven!”

18 The next morning Jacob got up very early. He took the stone he had rested his head against,and he set it upright as a memorial pillar. Then he poured olive oil over it. 19 He named that place Bethel (which means “house of God”),although it was previously called Luz. (NLT)

Christians rightly believe that God cannot be confined to any one particular place. Our church buildings are not where God lives. No nation or community can claim exclusive possession of God. He is present in every place.

And yet,there is still the reality of ‘sacred places’,places and spaces which have a special association with our encounters with God. Jacob certainly embraced that reality at Bethel. To say God is everywhere is not to deny we can especially meet him in certain places with certain associations. Which is why some Christians find their church building,or any church building,a powerful aid to prayer and worship.

To be in a place where Jesus has been worshipped for centuries is to be encouraged to go on worshipping that Jesus wherever we may be. To designate a room or space in our homes for our times of prayer can be a helpful way of focussing our attention on Jesus. To fondly remember a place of special blessing is not to worship that place but to be stimulated to recall the one who so blessed us.

We meet God everywhere. We meet him through special people. But we may also meet him through special places which have become sacred spaces. The ever-present God has become especially present at that time,in that space.

David Reay