Holy Ground

November 24, 2017
by John Stuart

Exodus 3:5 – "Do not come any closer," God said. "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground." (NIV)

Sometimes, I wonder if, as Christians, we're losing our understanding of sacred space and holy ground. For some folks, the church has almost become a leisure activity in the same league as weekly sports, pastimes, or hobbies, instead of a sacred time in the midst of our busy schedules or a holy break to refresh our spirits and reconnect ourselves with God. I see folks that I dearly love looking weary and tired, through trying to cope with family pressures, health changes, or career responsibilities. They're constantly giving and emptying themselves, or busying and stressing themselves. I want to encourage them to rediscover the peace of God in their lives and find a sanctuary in His holy house. I want to tell them that God didn't create us to be always active; He made us to enjoy His works and be strengthened in His sacred presence.

When I read how God called Moses from the burning bush and asked him to remove his sandals, I am reminded of what holy ground and sacred space are: they are places where God's presence is intimately experienced and deeply felt. It's a place and a time for dwelling in the mysterious moment of God's grace and love. It's a divine dimension where heaven comes down to the earth so that we, as beautiful and unique creatures, can be touched by the Perfect One Who made us. It's where we learn that worship is not a timetabled activity, but an eternal part of our relationship with the everlasting Creator. There is no other experience like it, which is why where it happens becomes holy and sacred ground.

Whatever you are going through right now, seek God's presence in the midst of it. Whatever pressure you are under or whatever issue you are struggling with, look for God's holiness in it. Make time to find what is sacred, instead of dwelling on what makes you scared. Take off your shoes and dance with God, for holy ground is where we can best delight in His pleasure, blessing, and love.

Points to ponder: When did I last experience God's sacred space and holy ground? Am I in need of it again?

Prayer: Lord God, show us where we can find some sacred space and holy ground. Allow us this beautiful blessing to refresh our spirits and renew our souls. In Christ's name, we humbly pray. Amen.

About the author:

John Stuart <traqair@aol.com>

Knoxville, Tennessee, USA


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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Very thought provoking, John. God bless.


    Indeed… major problem for many especially clergy, blessings.


    May I tell you I felt so good to read your homily this week though I must admit you always strike a note in my heart with your messages. Blessings to you always. I look for the Daily Devotions every day.


    Oh John, sadly your observations are so true. Modernity has lost its spiritual compass. Like little children who want their own way, not realizing the dangers, society wants no restraints. Thanks for sharing. Blessings.


    I have the same feeling. Too much of the contemporary worship leaves no room for the Holy space. The emphasis seems to be on how one worships not on who one worships. The Holy space in my opinion is too often missing.


    Thank you, this was good for me and I’m sure many more. I, too, feel that God doesn’t want us active continuously, but to take time to relax and feel his presence and restore ourselves.
    Blessings.


    Hi John,
    I could not agree more. I see the some of our Churches becoming a social club, rather than a house of worship.
    I have discussed this matter with some people but the general consensus is that we “Don’t want to make waves” and meanwhile those of us who are looking for a quiet time to worship are more and more frustrated.
    Thank you for writing this timely devotional.


    Hello John:
    Thank you so much for this beautiful devotional – a keeper for me. We all have our burdens to bear but I do so agree with you. When we are intentional about worship, devotional time and seeking His presence, that’s when refreshment comes. What a faith-strengthener it is! I try to come expectantly to worship because I know that the Lord will not disappoint.
    Blessings.


    Dear John,
    I want you to know how much I treasure your devotionals.
    God, through you, never fails to nourish me. I have used them on several occasions to begin meetings where your topic is particularly appropriate. I have sent encouraging ones you have written to my son who is now battling cancer. I praise God for your witness to me and many others.
    Blessings on you.


    Dear Mr. Stuart,
    As always, I found your devotional today, touched my heart. Due to a chronic illness, I have not been able to attend church in many years. I had been a very active member of the church. My church in the last few years had divided twice and was no longer a place that was filling my spiritual needs.
    My faith was strong but I must admit I struggled through the first few years of my illness…without support from the church. But over time I came to realize, God is with me here, in my home. This is my sacred ground that I have truly been blessed with.
    Gods continued blessings to you.


    Dear John Stuart,
    I too like quietness and stillness in church worship.
    I like some instruments in church, but drums send me out the back door fast, for I am hyper-sensitive to them. One lady in church says they hurt her ears; they don’t hurt my ears; they destroy my brain.
    But I also like action: Children’s involvement in services, a number of people participating in leading in prayer, singing of solos, singing in groups, making announcements, taking part in leading the Lord’s Prayer (without rushing), joining in responsive readings, reading something they have.
    The minister need not be performing a one-person show.
    God bless you.

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