We live in a neighborhood that is up on the top of a hill. It's colder up here than in the rest of the world. Our streets, especially after a snow like we had this week, are slower to thaw that every where else in town. Because of that, driving to our house can be a little challenging.
This week, the snow on the roads, rather than melting, has been compacting into ice. It's tense as you drive the length of the neighborhood, waiting to slide. As I come around the corner toward our house, I see our driveway. Steve shoveled and salted it the morning after the big snow, so it's all clear. It's truly a relief to turn into the driveway, knowing that my footing is secure.
It is sanctuary.
What is sanctuary? It is a place of refuge and protection, according to Merriam-Webster.
If our church worship areas are sanctuaries, what makes them a refuge or a place of protection? Isn't it the presence of God? We may call the room a sanctuary, but it isn't the room? It's God. Sanctuary -- that consecrated place where God dwells -- can be anywhere.
It's not the stained glass, the organ or the pews that make the place Holy. It's God.