Holy Place: A Lenten Exercise

A hymn we often sing during Lent and Holy Week, “Beneath the Cross of Jesus”, leads us into an appreciation of physical space.

The title of the hymn suggests that we view Jesus from a certain standpoint, a particular perspective — at the foot of the Cross. It is from this spot on the earth that we look up to Jesus and see what he is doing for us. From this inner stance, we express our faith in the Holy One who died on that Cross to fulfill his Call of Love for us and for the whole world.

The Gospel message of Jesus finds its grounding, its rooting, in the Cross. Of course, we know the end of the story. But even the message of new life, of resurrection, fresh starts, new beginnings emerges from that original place – beneath the Cross of Jesus.

An awareness of where we are, brings us into the holy. The Lenten season is about recognizing a holy place where God meets us and we meet God.

In developing a theme of “A Holy Place”, I invite you to reflect on one space and place in your life you have considered “holy”. Describe it: What surrounded you? Was there anyone with you? What were you doing – being still, physically, or active? What did you sense in this place – smells, sounds, tastes, visions? What happened in the time you were in this place? How did you feel?

And then, consider what about this “holy place” reflects the character of God? Is it quiet or noisy? Funny or serious? Solemn or filled with laughter? Is it in some way gentle and sweet, powerful and overwhelming, or busy and active? Did the holy place come to you quite unexpectedly, like a surprise, or by accident? Or was it the result of an intentional discipline and preparation on your part? What is it about God that this holy place teaches you?

Finally, consider a biblical text, scriptural quote or story from the bible that enhances, converges with and affirms your experience of God in this holy place. Conclude with a short prayer.

Thank God, during Lent, for that holy place.

Once you’ve thought about it, would you, sometimes during the Lenten season, tell someone about your holy place?

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