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… about sacred space.

I visited a local church this Sunday for a fairly disastrous worship service. First off let me say, the toughest people to preach to are other preachers, so I hold my hand up as a tough crowd. Acknowledged. But this past weekend was disastrous for two reasons, insufficient preparation and lack of respect for that which is considered by many to be holy space.

There were two young people reading the scriptures, it was painfully obvious that the one young lady hadn’t read the scripture before she got up, so she stumbled over words and kept stopping and starting and giggling over long biblical names. I am all for using the body of Christ to reach out for Christ, but surely there should be some reverence when we approach the scriptures?

The preacher for the evening was also a young man from the congregation who confidently stepped into the pulpit to announce that he was writing exams and so hadn’t had time to do any preparation. He proceeded to struggle and flail and repeat himself and get completely lost with his message. It was awful to watch and I think what made it worse was that he was unapologetic about his lack of preparation, he was blasé and flippant and again, the feeling that came across was a lack of reverence and respect for what it was that he was doing. Preaching is a privilege. No?

God is holy, holy is sacred, scripture is sacred, it should be read with care and reverence. It highlighted for me the need to hold and respect sacred space. ‘Christ in you’ is not all that meaningful if that Christ is not considered sacred and I am starting to wonder whether our lack of respect and reverence for one another is rooted in our inability as people to hold sacred space. I am not talking about pomp and prestige, just a little bit of respect and reverence for the God in whose image we are made – I read these words yesterday:

Being made in the image of God confers on us godlike qualities of creativity, rationality, personality, free will, self-awareness and consciousness and also gives us a special dignity, which deserves respect. (Peter Saunders)

My prayer is that we would remember to hold sacred space for God, perhaps then we would be encouraged to hold sacred space for one another. 

Today, let’s hold Africa as sacred space, Africa and all of her children.

In peace.