I spent yesterday with the women of St. Andrew's for our annual retreat. We spent the day thinking of, and creating, sacred spaces. These were places and activities that brought our minds and hearts closer to God. It was remarkable that through painting, reading, walking the labyrinth, laughing and singing together we were able to create a space that felt holy.
It was with this mindset that I came to church this morning and slid into my pew. The familiar church looked different somehow - yesterday's day away made me see our own sanctuary as one of the "thin places" we talked about.
In her sermon, Karen quoted a thought of Henri Nouwen who was considering church buildings in the busy city of Rome. How the churches were empty much of the week, but still these large spaces were kept, set aside, to be used by God's people. And in the same way, we are the church of God. We are set aside to be filled with God's power, that same power that raised Jesus from the dead. Yesterday's work in creating Sacred Spaces was ultimately about finding the sacred space within - that space were we breathe in the spirit of God. (And it is only thanks to the grace of God that this is even possible.)
And just as the seemingly empty church buildings in a busy city are fulfilling a great purpose, so are we called to fulfill our purpose. "For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works." (Eph. 2:10) How important it is to see ourselves filled with the Spirit, and sent out into the busy world to do the good works God has planned for us to do.