“By your strength you guided them to your sacred land”.
Ex 15:13 GNB
Try as we will, it is not easy to get out of our heads the notion that God is somehow physical. We attribute physical attributes to him the same as we have. We talk about “God’s right hand”, about his “eyes” and about his “house” The bible refers to a sacrifice to him being “sweet-smelling”. And when we go to worship him we visit “The Lord’s house”. If we are touring and come to some great cathedral, we notice the “holy hush” when we go inside and most men with hats will take them off. The cathedral is “different” because of its connection with God.
The early people had an even greater sense of God’s likeness to human beings. And the Israelites regarded Israel (which at the time of the exodus was still called Canaan) as God’s special land. Many translations put this phrase as “God’s holy place”. Some centuries after they settled there they came to believe that the hill in Jerusalem called Zion was God’s residence.
When the Holy Spirit was given to the followers of Jesus Christ at Pentecost the sense of where God was present was uncoupled from the city of Jerusalem. They knew God wasn’t confined to Zion, or to the temple. A few years later the temple was destroyed anyway. Everywhere the disciples went – guided by the Holy Spirit – that was God’s sacred ground. If you join with a prayer group in a believer’s home, you are on sacred ground. Likewise, a university hostel can become “holy” with God’s presence So can a factory storeroom. Where do you create God’s presence?
Lord, help me to have a sense of your presence everywhere.