Holy Ground

Many Shia Muslims have an interesting habit regarding prayer.  They believe some locations to be more “holy” than others.  Especially places where their prophet has gone.  So they often carry a small clay tablet with them.  It’s called a “turbah.” During prayer Shia Muslims will place this clay tablet on the ground and bow with their forehead on the tablet.  When our son was in the Army serving in the 1st Persian Gulf War he brought one home with him.  It’s about the size of a Zippo lighter and is made of baked clay from the ground of some location sacred to Muslims.

God told Moses to take off his sandals because the ground on which he was standing was holy. (Exo 3:5)  I grew up as a Catholic in the Northeast.  Some parts of the inside of our church buildings were considered holy.  Since then I have been to many Evangelical churches that have an “alter” at the front of their meeting places to which people might kneel at the end of a worship service for one of many possible purposes.  Many Americans consider the Tomb of our unknown dead in Arlington as similarly sacred.  The photo above was taken recently during hurricane Sandy.  Everyone else in the area evacuated but these men remained to guard our “sacred” place.

As we are planting new churches many of the people who will come in among us will need to re-tool their thinking about “place” vs. “position.”  After the Day of Pentecost WE became the holy place.  Very much like an airplane carrying the President of the United States.  Whatever plane he is on is Air Force One.  Where ever the baby is becomes the nursery.  If you are in a barber shop it becomes a sacred place.  If you are in a school classroom it is transformed into God’s tabernacle.  If the risen Christ inhabits you, He goes where you go.

Do others see you as the Christ bearer?  If not, why not?  In the Scripture people who were possessed by demons were identified as such by their behavior.  How much more should the presence of an omnipotent Holy Spirit bear witness to His presence in your life?

There was a time when a good marketing strategy might draw a crowd.  Today it is more likely that you will win someone through casual community contact.  The people I met while transitioning from pagan to Christian were “different.”  There was just something about them that cultivated by affection for what they had to say.  So, we practice “penetration evangelism.”  Go to the places where people go and bring Jesus with you.  If He lives in you, you won’t have to say much.  Perhaps one of the great failings of the ministry today is a lack of actual contact with people outside of your church.  Get off your computer, out of your office and into the places where lost people are.  It doesn’t matter where.  Pick a place and go…  Now.