Sacred Space

Friday, April 25

Villers-Bretonneux, France

Villers-Bretonneux, France

By Bill Gillard of Leonay, New South Wales, Australia

Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”

—Matthew 17:4 NRSV

April 25 marks a sacred day of remembrance for Australians. We remember fallen soldiers. On this day we hold religious services all over our land and in other countries. This year I watched the memorial services at Gallipoli, Turkey, and then in Villers-Bretonneux, France. As I listened to speakers describe these places as “sacred spaces.” Another area dedicated to remembering brave soldiers is the Kokoda Track in Papua, New Guinea.

As I thought about these services, my mind went to Moses’ experience, when the presence of God appeared to him in a burning bush. God said, “Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground” (Exodus 3:5). Moses was in a sacred space in the presence of God. I wondered, “Where are my sacred spaces?”

Answers came readily to mind—in my garden surrounded by the fauna and flora revealing God’s creation and circle of life. I find sacred space when I attend church for worship and the sacraments. There is a designated place in my home where I meditate, study, and write. Sacred space surrounds my family and its abundant love. It’s there when I share a meal with friends. Another sacred space in our home—part of the Open Door Congregation—is our swimming pool, the site of many baptisms.

Jesus cherished and used sacred spaces—on mountains and in boats to escape the crowds and pray. After his resurrection, Jesus took Peter, James, and John up to a high mountain. As these disciples looked at Jesus, they noticed a dazzling, bright change come over him and saw him talking with Moses and Elijah. Seeing this, Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here…”

How good it is to be with God in sacred spaces and to receive peace and enlightenment in this time together. May God bless you regularly as you find sacred space to be with God.

Prayer for Peace
Ever-present God, thank you for the sacredness of every place in which we meet you. Thank you for the peace you bring to these places.

Spiritual Practice: Develop Disciples to Serve
As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are called to respond to people and their needs throughout the world. Pray about using your skills to help another person. As you feel affirmed, thank God for the opportunity to be a responding, serving disciple while you move into the outward journey.

Peace Covenant
Today, God, as I move from sacred place to sacred place, I will see sacredness in the spaces between, too.

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1 Comment

  1. Jill

     /  25 April 2014

    This morning’s reading made me think of a sermon (I think I may have even been the one who gave it) where I shared about finding our “sacred space” or “quiet moment” with God throughout our days instead of just on Sunday or in these other places this woman talks about. For me, I was trying to use the little bathroom at work when I’m changing diapers. I’ve forgotten about that several times, but I’ve also remembered it many times. It’s been a place for me to say an extra prayer for the day, for the moment, and or the child who I am currently caring for on the changing table. Taking time to remember God within the busy has been a blessing. And definitely using our gifts to help others is a blessing to them, but more often a blessing to us as well.

    _____

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