If you’re Moslem, Mecca is the most holy city in the world. One of the five pillars or your faith is to at least once in your lifetime to join the annual pilgrimage. If you’re Jewish, the Western Wall is your Holy Ground. Buddhists make the pilgrimage to the Bodh Gaya, the site of Gautama’s enlightenment, and Hindus list hundreds of sacred sites. As a kid, I remember being yelled at as I ran through a gorgeous Baptist church, “David, stop running and shut your mouth. Don’t you know this is the sanctuary?”
Devout religionists of all types cherish, defend, and fight over Holy Ground, and it was a fight over Holy Ground that got Stephen killed in the first century. In his review of their history he reminded his fellow Jews that Moses encountered Holy Ground a long way from Jerusalem. What made a bush in the barren wilderness of Mt. Sinai sacred?
“And when forty years were completed, a divine messenger appeared to Moses in the wilderness of Mt. Sinai in a flame of fire in a bush. When Moses saw it, he marveled at the sight. As he approached to see what was going on, the voice of the LORD said, ‘I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob.’ Moses began to tremble and he didn’t even dare to look. Then the LORD said, ‘Take the sandals off your feet because the place where you are standing is holy ground.’” - Acts 7:30-33
LORD, help me to realize today that it’s your presence that makes a place holy and that Pentecost teaches that your Spirit takes up residence, not at some piece of land or some building, but in our bodies when we believe in your Son. Help me to reverence your presence.
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