Finding the Sacred in Ordinary Spaces
This year has revealed to many of us the depth of our love and need for sacred spaces. We are in an exile of sorts, away from our church home. The verse from Jeremiah 29 that is on the center banner in Beacon’s sanctuary includes a challenge from God to the Israelites in exile to “plant gardens and eat what they produce, build houses and live in them.”
All the Israelites wanted was to go home. But God knew that wasn’t possible yet, so God invited them to put down roots where they were, to trust that God was with them even then and there. Perhaps one of the invitations of this season is to open our hearts to the ways in which God is present even now, even here, even in our home spaces. The beauty of a handful of flowers on a kitchen island or a lit candle can point our hearts to God and gratitude just as much as the beauty of the lights hanging over the communion table, in their own way.
So this advent, perhaps we can try lighting our own version of an advent wreath—grouping together a handful of candles together on a dining room table, and lighting one more each week until they are all bright and sparkling on Christmas Eve. Perhaps every Sunday we can light just one candle at the beginning of worship, and when we celebrate communion, set aside a particular plate or coffee mug. Perhaps when people are sharing their prayer requests, we can jot down a name or two on a post it note and leave it close by a candle to pray every time we light that candle through the week.
There will be much celebration when we can safely worship together in the sanctuary again. But until then, we have an opportunity notice God’s presence in our homes.
If you try this out either with an alternative advent wreath or another way to denote worship time and space within ordinary space, please send us a photo either on social media @thewordatbeacon or to firstname.lastname@example.org, we’d love to re-post as a way to stay connected with one another.