I was talking with a mentor the other day in regards to the “Black Lives Matter” movement. We were discussing the pros and the cons. We both agreed that the matter of injustice against blacks was true but the methods to resolve it have not been made clear. One of the things he suggested that was more important than protest was creating institutions to develop the conscious and character of poor black people. He said, “We have no sacred space.” That resonated with me. We have no sacred space…
There used to be sacred space between what was Holy and common. You didn’t mix the two. Growing up in the 70’s my grandmother didn’t allow certain things to happen on Sunday. You didn’t play secular music on Sunday. You didn’t use the Lord’s name in vain. You didn’t talk about grown up affairs in front of children.
Today we don’t have enough sacred space. In the book of Ezekiel the angel shows the prophet the building layout for the new city of God. He specifies the measurements of the wall that separates the Holy from the common. It is 875 feet! That’s a lot of space! Why because God is so Holy that the Angel wanted to make sure that anything common wouldn’t provoke the anger of God. When Moses received the Ten Commandments from God on top of the mountain, he warned the people not to even come close to the base of the mountain or they might die. God was just that Holy. When Moses came down from being in the presence of God his face glowed so much that the people begged hi to wear a veil.
Do we have enough space between what is Holy and what is common?
This space is what Dr. Henry Cloud would call a boundary. When Jesus was crucified the curtain that separated the Holy of Holies from the common area was torn into which meant that common people could approach God in humility. In doing so we have taken God’s grace for granted and forgotten about sacred space. Therefore we have to create boundaries to respect the Holy.
- The Sabbath should be a boundary. It’s our day of rest and worship. The psalmist said, “My soul will not rest until it rests in God.” There ought to be some space in your week where you go meet with God. Hebrews 10:25 “Do not fail to regularly meet together for worship.”
- Don’t expose children to adult situations. Protect what your children see on TV and on the Internet. Protect their ears from what comes out of your mouth. Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. Mark 9:42
- Don’t allow negative people to come into your space. Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness. 2Cor 6:14
- Make room for justice. Jeremiah 7:5-6 But I will be merciful only if you stop your evil thoughts and deeds and start treating each other with justice; only if you stop exploiting foreigners, orphans, and widows; only if you stop your murdering; and only if you stop harming yourselves by worshiping idols.
- We should respect God’s house and our own homes. Every house has rules. You should never disrespect someone’s home. Don’t bring drama to someone’s home. God’s house is Holy. Jesus got mad when he saw people disrespecting sacred space. Matthew 21:12 Jesus went straight to the Temple and threw out everyone who had set up shop, buying and selling. He kicked over the tables of loan sharks and the stalls of dove merchants. He quoted this text: My house was designated a house of prayer; you have made it a hangout for thieves. Now there was room for the blind and crippled to get in. They came to Jesus and he healed them.
- Marriage is a sacred institution to give a husband and a wife a sacred space to enjoy their exclusive sexuality. Hebrews 13:1 Stay on good terms with each other, held together by love. Honor marriage, and guard the sacredness of sexual intimacy between wife and husband. God draws a firm line against casual and illicit sex.
- When you take communion check yourself. Don’t come to God’s table any old kind of way. 1 Corinthians 11:27 Anyone who eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Master irreverently is like part of the crowd that jeered and spit on him at his death. Is that the kind of “remembrance” you want to be part of? Examine your motives, test your heart; come to this meal in holy awe.
This list is not exhaustive. I just wanted us to start thinking about the space we need to create between what is Holy and what is common. We are a Holy people. We can’t be acting all common! But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are a royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light I Peter 2:9
Show us how to put some space between what is common and what is Holy. I pray people look at my life and see some distinction between what is right and what is wrong. Help me to create sacred spaces where our younger generation can develop character and skills that will ensure we create a world where all lives matter.
In Jesus Name,