Several times, Jesus proclaimed that the God he worshipped and served could be with us in any given place if we make ourselves available. Here are a couple of examples:
John 4:19-23: 19The woman said to him, “Sir, I see that you are a prophet. 20Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem.” 21Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. 24God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
Luke 17:20-21: Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom-reign of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom-reign of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom-reign of God is within (or “among”) you.”
I have been working to become more conscious of inviting God into the places I am going, not just the events (time) I am planning. For some of you this may be basic, but I have tended to think in terms of time not place. Practicing this different way of inviting God to be present and to reign has made me all too aware of how easily I forget that every place can be holy. I have little doubt that Paul would gladly remind me that I am a babe when I should be much more mature (1 Corinthians 3:1-2). Oh Well . . . .
God even made a place of execution—the cross, the lynching tree of Jesus’ time—into God’s holy place. I have a lot to learn about asking God to make every single place I go—each room in my home, a restaurant, my neighbor’s home, a bar, a coffee shop, a church building, my car, a rec center, a town hall, the park—a place where God is ready to dwell. God is ready to make it a “holy place.” Do I want it to be? Do I really trust that it can be?
Surely, this constant consciousness of welcoming and maintaining an open and vulnerable relationship with God in every place is a major characteristic of why Jesus is described as the one whose “faithfulness” allowed God to save him from death (Hebrews 5:7-8). And, in saving Jesus from death also allows God to save us from ourselves as well as the death and destruction that is all around us (Hebrews 5:9).
Where do you want God to be present today? What place do you want to invite God to “make holy” by being there with you?