Thursday, June 22, 2017

Sacred vs. Secular

"Indeed, the word sacrament is derived from a Latin phrase which means 'to make holy.'"

"But our God is in the business of transforming ordinary things into holy things, scraps of food into feasts and empty purification vessels into fountains of fine wine."

Rachel Held Evans, Searching for Sunday

I remember, years (and years and years) ago, when I was in youth group, the youth pastor taking us all in the Sanctuary. He played music over the sound system, and asked us to write down whether the music was sacred or secular. I had never heard any of it before (I don't know if I was the only one) so for me, I had to make a judgment on how it sounded (and maybe using the words). Once we finished, he told us that all of the music he played was considered sacred. I don't remember the music at all, but I remember the idea that sacred vs. secular is a difficult line.

There is a controversy in my church (not a battle, just a disagreement) that applause in worship is either bad or an expression of praise. One of the opponents of applause, who is a pastor (not our current pastor), defends his opinion by saying that applause is secular. That has always bothered me, especially in light of the lesson I learned as a youth. How is it possible for one person to judge the sacred vs secular nature of anything? Especially something as neutral as applause. How can one person say that the act of applause is not a sacred act?

If Welch's grape juice and Hawaiian bread can be made sacred by God, then why would we draw any lines concerning what God can make holy?

(By the way, this week has been brought to you by the Cardinal (grinning).  Prepare yourself for many more bird pictures - we stocked the feeders in the backyard.)

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