Searching for Holy Ground
“Then God said to Moses, ‘Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.'” – Exodus 3:5
You can’t find holy ground with your GPS. You won’t even find it at famous holy places, though you might. Ordinary places become holy ground only because we meet God there.
Our congregation calls our worship space the “sanctuary,” which means “a container for the holy.” It is a lovely and historic room, but it is no more intrinsically holy than Mt. Horeb.
Holy ground is usually found in a crisis: Jacob running away from Esau, Moses hiding out, Paul rushing to Damascus to persecute the church.
Without the presence of God, Jacob’s pillow is just another rock, Horeb just another hill, the way to Damascus just another road.
But anywhere can be holy ground if we meet God there. The Jesuit poet Gerard Manley Hopkins wrote: “The world is charged with the grandeur of God . . .” and it is true, but too often we miss it because we are preoccupied with the cares of the world.
And when we do recognize holy ground, we often want to camp out there, like Peter after the Transfiguration. But God doesn’t meet us just so we can have an experience; there is always a call and a job to do.
Bring us to your holy ground, O God, and then send us to live out your will and way, in Jesus name.
Richard L. Floyd is Pastor Emeritus of First Church of Christ (UCC) in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. A writer and author, his most recent publications are Romans, Parts 1 and 2 (with Michael S. Bennett), new titles in the “Listen Up!” Bible Study Series. He blogs at richardlfloyd.com.