Some More on Sanctuary

Some More on Sanctuary September 13, 2012

We’ve been lacking sanctuary for awhile around here.  Church has gone on every Sunday, of course, but for the second year in a row we’ve spent part of the summer worshipping outside our sanctuary.  

It makes sense for us…DC becomes a ghost town for much of the summer every year…with so many folks in our church away, our 800 seat sanctuary begins to feel a bit, well, cavernous and empty.  When we gather for a more informal worship in a smaller space we feel more togetherness. 

And this has merits of its own, for sure. 

I love hearing us sing when we’re sitting closer together, for example.  The give and take of a conversational sermon reminds me what an amazing, educated, intuitive, faithful group I call church.  The unconventional style allows for new ways of passing the peace, praying our prayers, and hearing from our children.

But last Sunday when we gathered for worship in the sanctuary again, I confess I sighed a sigh of relief. 

The strains of the organ made me want to close my eyes and soak it all in.

The liturgy reminded me all over again that I am part of something so much bigger than what’s right here.

The light that filtered in through the stained glass softened the sharp edges of the burdens I’d carried into worship with me that day.

When we left worship Sunday we were tasked with going into a world void of much sanctuary at all and finding some places—even small places—in which our souls find that peace and connection to God.  I’ve had some trouble finding these places this week, but the memory of sanctuary on Sunday, I can call them back again and again.

Thanking God this day for people alongside me on this journey, for music rising to the heavens, for strains of light coloring life, for…sanctuary, in this world where peace seems so elusive.

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