Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt
I am fully aware that a church building is, after all, just a building. Bricks, mortar, stone, wood, glass, steel–all these things can be used to make many other kinds of buildings as well.
I remember when the main meeting room of a church was referred to as the sanctuary. The objection to doing so was that until the Lord is there, it’s just another room in any building. There is nothing sacred about the room itself, we were told, and I suppose that’s true. Still, it was the place where we met to sing, pray, and hear the preaching of God’s Word.
The Bible says in Matthew 18:20 that “where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” In that sense, any place believers gather in Jesus’ Name, that place is a sanctuary, a sacred place, a place where God is. There was a time in long-ago days when a person could claim sanctuary in a church, and be safe from harm. That only worked, however, if the “harm” that was coming was another believer.
When I was a little girl, we were taught not to run in the auditorium. We were not to go up on the platform, nor were we to touch the piano or the organ. There was a deep respect ingrained into us for this sacred place, and it makes me sad to see it treated as no more than another playground. It is not that the place itself is holy or sacred, but that what happens there IS holy and sacred. It was a solemn thing to go into the auditorium for a church service. Not that there was no laughter. There was. I remember a lot of joy, a lot of laughter, involved in church services. The music was often solemn, but it was also beautiful and full of joy.
Last night we went to an old-fashioned hymn sing. It was not held in a church building, but rather in a public facility. There was no preaching, just a lot of music and a time of prayer. During that hour or so, the place was a sanctuary.
As we sang the final hymn, I struggled with the tears that clogged my throat. I’m not one of those fortunate people who can sing while they cry. The voice just can’t get past the lump in my throat. Several things were going on. I was with people I’ve known and loved for years. I love to sing, and last night my voice lasted pretty well. It doesn’t always, these days. It creaks and croaks and disappears on me. Aging vocal cords and too many sinus infections and allergies have taken their toll. So it made me emotional to actually be able to sing. And finally, it was a song I love, a song that always makes me look forward to heaven.
So at the end of this rather disorganized ramble, take a few minutes to enjoy the sanctuary of the music right where you are: