Some places are special, some are structures and some are pieces of land.
- Lincoln Memorial
- Ground Zero: 9-11
- Valley Forge
- Arlington Cemetery
A place becomes sacred because something deeply significant happened. Sacred ground may be a battlefield, a national memorial, or a cross on the side of the road marking the death of a loved one.
It’s sacred because it’s sacred to us, or to God.
“Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law and he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to Horeb, (Mt. Sinai) the mountain of the Lord.”
“There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses thought,
‘I will go over and see this strange sight–why the bush does not burn up.’
‘Do not come any closer,’ God said.
‘Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.'”
Why was the ground holy? Had something special happened there? The answer is no. The ground was holy because God was there and he is holy.
Here’s a thought: If God is omnipresent then why isn’t everywhere holy ground? It’s a fair question. However, from Scripture it appears that a place was holy due to the direct presence or specific work of God. Some examples:
- the burning bush
- the Holy of Holies
- the tabernacle or temple
- the mount of transfiguration
- the birthplace of Jesus
The place where Moses removed his sandals was holy because God’s presence made it holy. When God finished with Moses then the place on Mount Sinai ceased to be holy ground.
When Moses threw his staff on the ground and it turned into a snake and then became a staff again God said,
“This is so they may believe that the Lord, the God of their fathers–the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob has appeared to you.”
Miraculous things happen in the presence of God. Miraculous things happen on holy ground and at holy places.
Can you imagine when the High Priest entered the Holy of Holies that he did so carrying a Starbuck’s coffee? Or a Coke? Or a donut? Just a thought.
Far be it from us to treat the holiness of God causally, right? And may we never make common what he has made sacred.