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Lenten Sacred Spaces

 'For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of God, as the waters cover the sea.' - Habakkuk 2:14

During Lent we have the opportunity to spend time in reflection and the wonder of the Cross. We realize that Jesus came to "live among us" - literally "tabernacle" - with us. God made his presence known to us in that "when you have seen me (Jesus), you have seen the Father".

John 14:7
 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

Is it possible to have that kind of experience where we spend time with God - in his presence - prayerfully and worshipfully entering into a quiet sacred space. I believe it is.

The Celtic Monastics were a group of Christians who brought Christ to most of what we know as the United Kingdom - beginning in Ireland, then to Scotland, England, Wales, and even into Europe - these Christians practiced a spiritual work and worship rhythm for life. To be sure it was a community that they usually worked in. They did not individualize their faith, as we are often apt to see in our Western Church - especially in America. Instead, they saw their purpose - together - to live out the work of Jesus Christ as both Mission and worship.

To do this well, they had to learn to live in such a way that they daily, weekly kept reminding themselves of their own need for Christ, and their own work for Christ. They developed the idea of created daily and weekly "sacred spaces" to be with Christ, while working with each other among the people around them.

I believe, and try to practice, some form of this can exist in our churches today if we can learn to be intentional and not random about our spiritual worship and work.

Lent is a perfectly good time to practice the rhythms of Sacred Spaces. It is a great time to create "Sacred Spaces" during our daytime hours to "be still". It is the practices of these Sacred Spaces that will open us up to the need to set apart time to meet with God in several different ways.

In brief these are:
CELL - Learning to be alone with God in a private place for prayer and meditation on his word.

CHAPEL - Gathering together with others for Worship, Prayer, Communion, and the Word

CHAPTER - Learning to submit ourselves to others, making decisions, talking, learning from others

CLOISTER - Discovering God in ordinary life in surprised or planned meetings with others

GARDEN - Having communion with God in and where I work, whether at home, in an office, in the field, or shop.

REFECTORY - Seeing fellowship with God in food and hospitality. Knowing that when we break bread together with each other, Christ is there.

SCRIPTORIUM - Spending time in both personal and corporate ways studying the Word of God and sharing it with others.

All of these are past practices that have relevance for our modern Christian experiences. I'll share some more about each one in the future.



Unknown said…
Elliott, I am looking forward to you unpacking this further.

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