One of the lectionary readings for this week is Psalm 48. The Disciplines reading for yesterday morning included these verses (12-14):
Walk about Zion, go all around it, count its towers, consider well its ramparts; go through its citadels, that you may tell the next generation that this is God, our God forever and ever. He will be our guide forever.The author of the devotional suggested that the reader consider Holy Places -- places where you have felt the transformational presence of God.
Where are your Holy Lands?
I thought it was an interesting question, and I stopped this morning to consider it. Where have I felt the transformational presence (my phrase) of God? What place feel Holy to me? (I'm going to avoid the obvious answer of my church's Sanctuary)
- Even though I'm not going to say our Sanctuary, I will mention our church's chapel. I mention it because each year we use it as a prayer chapel for our 40 hour Prayer Vigil (from Good Friday to Easter Morning). I have spent a few hours alone in that room for the prayer vigil, and I always encounter God. When I walk into that room (when it is empty), the space feels holy to me.
- I co-taught a book study for a couple of years in one of our Sunday school rooms. Now, to me it feels like a holy place. During those classes, I learned (and yes, I was a teacher) much about my faith in God.
- I took my Emmaus walk in Ashland, Ky at First UMC. I will mention their Sanctuary. Every time I walk in it seems like a Holy Place to me.
- I don't know what it is about the beach, but while it doesn't always feel holy, it does have the capacity to feel that way -- fleetingly
- There are times when I walk in our city park, especially when I carry my camera and wander, taking pictures, when the park becomes a holy place.
- A holy place doesn't have to be a happy one. Last Saturday we drove to Buckhannon to pick up G and a couple of friends. We stopped in Flatwoods for lunch at a fast food restaurant at the foot of the hill where our last board meeting was held. It was a sad place to be for me; I didn't like it. The last time I was there was for our board meeting. My friend's father was dying. I did find the presence of God that evening and the next day; I was grateful for it. (The sadness on Saturday did get overshadowed by the drunk man in line and the very long wait for lunch!).