devozine

Spiritual Practice

Creating Sacred Space in the New Land

Sally Chambers

The prophet Ezekiel lived after the sixth-century invasion of Israel by the Babylonians, in a time when the people of God had forgotten who they were. Among other things, Ezekiel was known for his visions of rebuilding the temple in Israel.

Read Ezekiel 45:1–4. This passage of scripture tells how part of the land that was returned to the Israelites should be set aside as sacred space for God. God’s intention has always been to live among the people. God also knows that we do better with tangible things. So God had the Israelites carve out space in the land and build a temple as a tangible home for God on earth.

church doorsThrough the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Spirit of God was no longer “confined” to the temple. Any place on earth, with or without walls, could be carved out or set aside as sacred space for God.

As people of God, we still carve out sacred space for God—not to say that God isn’t present anywhere else but that God is welcome among us. We want to make space for God in our physical lives.

The sacred spaces we set aside for God are sometimes elaborate, sometimes simple; sometimes huge (think cathedrals), sometimes small (think poustinias). These spaces, often called churches, have been places of refuge, sanctuary, rest, worship, peace, grace, forgiveness, love, relationships, beginnings, endings, safety, and community.

Virtual Sacred Space

Today, we have not only a physical world but also a virtual world. We have the world around us that we can touch, and we have a world on the Internet. It’s almost as if God has given us new land, a land that we travel to through our phones or computers, a land with an address: www. So we must decide: Do we set aside a portion of this new land to be sacred space for God? Do we say to God, “In this new land, we welcome you; we want you to be part of this space”?

The web is full of people trying to create sacred space for God online. These are some of my favorite places to visit:

devozine, Teen at Computer

Blogs can be sacred space, places where words become vehicles of reminding us of the living presence of God. Facebook statuses and tweets can be one-sentence blogs that do likewise. So can photos. Websites of various church communities, if done well, become a new narthex or entrance into an actual church building or community.

How will you offer a portion of your “land” as sacred space for God? How will you offer a portion of the time you spend in this new land as sacred moments for God?

 

DIG DEEPER

TRY: Choose a sacred space for God online. Practice using it once a day.

THINK: What elements of a sacred space online would draw people toward the living presence of God? What things would deface that space?

TAG: How can you create sacred space for others online? How can you transform the places in which you spend time into sacred space?

Sally Chambers , who has transformed her Nashville home into “the abbey,” is intentional about carving out sacred space wherever she happens to be.

—from devozine (July/August 2011). Copyright © 2011 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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