Pastor's Pen

Sacred Places Matter to God

Yesterday I was hiking at Reynolds Nature Preserve in Lake City. If you’ve never been to Reynolds, I would strongly recommend it.

While hiking I paused. Looking up at the trees towering above me, I was struck by the thought that these trees reminded me of the arches of a cathedral. A cathedral of trees, open to the bright blue sky of a beautiful Spring day. What a wonderful place to express my thanks and love to God!

Jesus knew that “places” matter. Sacred places are very important. Our ancient Hebrew ancestors had sacred places. The wilderness of Judea was a sacred place to the Hebrew people because of their historical connections with it. The burning bush was in the wilderness, the manna from heaven fed the Hebrews as they dwelt in the wilderness. David tended the family herds in the wilderness. God is described in the Hebrew Bible as being the “Shepherd of His People, Israel.” John the Baptist was nurtured by God as prophet while living in the wilderness. Jesus was not only tempted in the wilderness, He taught in the wilderness.

And, Jesus died on the Cross of Calvary when He was “in the wilderness.”  “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me!” This cry of anguish from the Cross was first a cry of pain from the writer of Psalm 22. This psalm is the cry of one who was in the wilderness of pain and suffering.

Death on the Cross was not, however, God’s final word concerning His Son. Jesus arose from the wilderness of the Tomb as the Risen Lord Jesus Christ. Since that time, Jesus has been beside all of His children who are wandering in their own wilderness. He will lead and guide us through our trials if we will let Him. The Bible is the map showing the route through the wilderness, but Jesus is our trail guide. He leads us through the wilderness so we might have a taste of the waters of heaven.

This Easter Season, look up and discover your own cathedral, your own sacred place. Come and worship with your friends and neighbors during our Holy Week services. As we worship, may we experience resurrection in our own lives!

 

~Pastor Jeff Lowe