Bernie Anderson
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the blog

Current musings, whatever they may be. 

Sunday Sermonizing: Sacred Space


The wanderlust is real.

I think often about the possibilities of other spaces and other places to take up residence.

I see a television show set in Manhattan and it would be great to live there.

On the other hand, an old friend of mine is currently living with her family in the English countryside. I look at her pictures on Instagram and am truly envious of that, as well.

But, then we have access to so many cities across the world with a phone and a simple search. HGTV shows people looking for new spaces every day. All over the world.

And you can do the same. Seriously.

The possibilities are endless, and most of those possibilities could be reality if that’s what you really want.

The world is smaller, more compact than it used to be. What was far off and exotic is now doable. A quick vacation. A weekend trip. Airline tickets go on sale all the time. Many reading this could live anywhere in the world they desire. Or at the very least, visit.

Sometimes I just want walkable.

I live on a golf course by a creek. It’s a simple, mundane sort of place. Most would not find it more desirable than any other place. My biggest complaint is that there’s nothing here within walking distance. To get to coffee or a sandwich a car is necessary. I find that annoying.

But this is true with most of America.

Sometimes we wish.
If only my space were different.
If only my circumstances were different.
If only my life were different.
If only.
We wish.

Wishes and “if/onlys” are common, I think. Perhaps even more common this time of year. Advent and year-end tend to give cause for reflection.

Here’s what I do know.

Space and place are not innately holy things. They are made holy. Jesus went to a desert place and prayed. When he did, he turned the desert into something sacred. God was there. His presence changes everything.

The theology of incarnation affects our theology of place. It used to be necessary to go somewhere to meet with God. There was a temple with thick curtains and elaborate processes.

The life and death and resurrection of Jesus ripped the currents in half, both literally and metaphorically.

My creek, my golf course, my little wooden table by a window that overlooks a parking lot - they all serve as sanctuaries, as places for worship, prayer, and communion. Places where I live life. Ordinary places turned holy.

Incarnation does that. Jesus walked here. He showed us that even desolate places can be a place of communion.

A desolate place can be a desert with sand or a desert with strip malls.

Because you can live in Manhattan or the English countryside, in a room in Mumbai or a suburban golf course in South Carolina.

We are where we are. Today.

The presence of Jesus makes today’s space holy.

And there is deep joy and satisfaction in that.