Wednesday, January 04, 2017

A Holy Place

I remember, year ago, walking into a Mission in California - this one - and feeling from the moment I entered it, that it was a holy place. I'm not sure why I thought that. Was it the organ music playing? The decor of the sanctuary? The hushed quiet (beyond the music)? Some olfactory trigger?

I actually don't think it was any of those. I don't find organ music to be particularly holy. I've been in multiple sanctuaries - with pews and stained glass - and not all of them "feel" holy. 

Buechner says, in Wishful Thinking, that the only thing that is holy is God. Anything else we call holy "has something of God's mark on it." And he says we know it when we encounter it.

There have been times in my experience with my church when we have worshiped other places than the Sanctuary. And there are those who object to that, claiming that the Fellowship Hall or the Chapel "don't feel holy to them." There is nothing about a room with table and chairs near the kitchen that is or isn't holy - it's the experience of God that brings the holiness.  So while that room may not "feel holy" to someone else, to others of us, who have encountered God in this place, it is holy.

It might not be a good judge of worship space to declare its holiness or lack thereof. What is holy to one is not holy to another, and to claim it is an inherit aspect of the place is to deny that holiness is God's alone.



Post a Comment

<< Home