“For he views the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens. When he established the force of the wind and measured out the waters, when he made a decree for the rain and a path for the thunderstorm, then he looked at wisdom and appraised it; he confirmed it and tested it,” – Job 28:24-27.
What’s sacred in the world, and what is profane? Without sounding pantheistic (the notion that everything is god), God is everywhere. Even more, every space can be sacred. I have come to the realization that all the people I meet are sacred. We all contain, as Shaara wrote in the book Killer Angels, that “Divine spark.”
In Leviticus, God spends time turning the ordinary into methods to make things holy, while 42 times between chapters 18-26 He reminds us “I am the Lord.” He tells us what to avoid, but spends a lot of energy helping us understand that things can be made clean again.
“Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground” said the Lord to Moses. The ground was holy because the Lord met Moses there, not, because that particular piece of ground was God’s favorite. Of that Scripture, Elizabeth Barrett Browning (“How do I love thee, let me count the ways …”) wrote in her nine book poem, Aurora Leigh:
“Earth’s crammed with heaven and every common bush afire with God. But only he who sees, takes off his shoes. The rest sat round it and ate blackberries.”
We are in a world where “BlackBerry” has a different meaning, a world that is “flatter and smaller” than it has ever been before. In this break-neck existence, the most natural way to process sacred and profane is to quickly and neatly file them into categories (this would include people) and never look back. Yet, Jesus made a physical lifestyle of turning the profane to the sacred. He turned the unclean to clean, the blind into the seeing, the prostitute into follower.
Here are some ideas to help you on this journey:
Find the unlovable person, and pour your energy into them.
Clean out that junk room, and give it new purpose.
If you hate choruses and love hymns, find a chorus, and sing it to yourself all week long.
If you hate hymns and love choruses, vice versa.
Help in a soup kitchen, and really love the people.
Clean your car out.
Try to learn something new from each person you meet.
Share Jesus with someone this week.
There is something gratifying about redeeming, and something definitely sinful about neglect. If you take anything else away from this missive – Remember this: Redemption must be a lifestyle to the worshipper. It gives us reason to worship, to praise God and “make His name glorious.” (John Francis is worship specialist for the Missouri Baptist Convention.)