When I hear the word sacred, I typically think of some Roman Catholic liturgy or ceremony, like the Stations of the Cross. I then proceed to assume that it's referring to an antiquated tradition for an old school faith - not intentionally mind you. But those thoughts are somewhere tucked away in my mind, behind my immediate responses. What I've learned over the years, however, is just how shallow and narrow that perception is.
Take the picture above for example: Karl Barth's desk. The story is that Barth would listen to Mozart everyday, contemplate the painting above his desk - "Crucifixion" by Grunewald - and would be inspired. This was his "sacred space". I use this as an example of sacred space two-fold:
This was a special time in his day that broke him from the monotony of "life" and it elevated him above his circumstances so as to regain perspective.
This was a normalizing time in his day that broke him from the ego, and humbled him under the utter brilliance of the Savior.
This should be the effects of a sacred space; it should simultaneously elevate and humble you. We westerners have thrown the baby out with the bath water when we consider an object as sacred. What's worse is that we actually believe in it - as we've caught glimpses of the sacred's power - but we typically do our best to refrain from using that calloused, archaic word: "sacred". Instead, we consistently replace it with the traditional day to day tags like nightly "TV time", a good conversation with a friend, a nap, or even a "quiet time".
Whether we know it or not, we long for sacred space. Why? Because it's part of our DNA. We were made for it. We long for Eden. We long to sit in a garden of peace, and have the cool breeze of grace envelope us. Although we as a race were banished from Eden, we, as His children, are given gardens along the way until our return.
This brief three part blog series will explore this a bit more. My hope is that we take control of our days, if for just ten minutes at a time, so we can come to a place of Christ-centered inspiration. My hope is that we all learn to elevate ourselves above life's cyclical contexts, so that we can better see, and from there trust that we can rest in His immensity.