Sacred Spaces 405 – Of building shelters

19 November 2013

Take 1 – From the Scriptures: Matthew 17: 1 – 5
“After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. 3 Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.
4 Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”
5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”

transfiguration2 (Medium)

Take 2 – Of a Sunday gathering
We gather in this space. There is something sacred about gathering in a church. However it’s not the space that makes it holy or profound. It’s that here in this time and this specific time… we focus to connect and hear you; dear God.
We are silly to pray, “God we invite you in this place.” Because that implies you weren’t there in the first place. Where would you have been? On holidays in the Bahama’s? (Look past my cheekiness)
However when you see us meeting;
This group of people;
In some churches a mere 20 strong and then in other places… a crowd of up to 3000;
Yet…
Do you hear the words (as Peter once said) come from any of our lips?
“Lord, it is good for us to be here.”
“I will put up three shelters…”

Meaning?
Do we find that time in church enjoyable?
Or if we saw it simply as a chore or a ritual, rather tell us to leave; because it’s pointless, us being there.

When last have we uttered: oh God, it’s good to be in this place.
No strings attached. Just a collision of two souls. Your great and mysterious and beautiful heart meeting with my fragile heart.

And as Peter suggests, he wants to build a shelter. Why? Because he wanted the moment to last. What a stunning sentiment!

Take 3 – Of an intimate dinner
Sometimes when we gather, as a church on a Sunday evening;
Our songs seem slow.
They are more of reflective nature.
I am usually an “upbeat” bash on my bass guitar louder and faster kind of person.
Yet in those moments; I get creative.
I see, You and me, sitting at a table…
Intimate.
No need for too many words
No need to shout across at You
You know my heart
And daily, I learn more about yours…

Take 4 – Of trying to contain
“I will put up three shelters…”

Peter wanted to contain you. He wanted to “box” you
Oh, how often we can fall into that silly notion.
God, is only where we invite Him…
God, is only where Christians are…
Folly!
Forgive us, for boxing Your mercy and grace and omnipresence.

In the words of Third Day: “My God, you are everywhere…”

Song Lyrics or Twitturgy:

“Better is one day in your courts than thousands elsewhere” Matt Redman (taken from Psalm 84) – Have you ever felt like that?

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