I always find it unnerving and slightly amusing to find out where my own sticking points are about what is sacred or holy, what is ‘appropriate’ behaviour around places or items that we endow with a religious meaning. At home, we have a table. In church we have an altar. The table and the altar might be identical as items of furniture, but they have a different significance because of the building that they are in and the purpose for which they are used. Sometimes, in a congregation like ours, we find that we have very different ideas about what is holy, special or sacred, depending on our previous traditions. Jesus was very aware of how the religious leaders of his day had got caught up in ‘preserving’ the sacred at the cost of actually allowing the people to experience God through love and kindness. He railed against this, time and time again, for example, healing people on the Sabbath, when no work is meant to be done.
In our Commitment Service on Sunday, we used our Bedrock Beliefs as a basis for our commitment promises. Our Bedrock Beliefs describe the main tenets of our faith as Northern Lights MCC – God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, faith, the Bible, worship and what it means to be church. As individuals, we may believe more about any of these, but our Bedrock Beliefs were developed in a process where we could agree the basics, the bedrock of what we hold sacred as a faith community. It was powerful to hear these statements again and our responses to them as promises for this coming year. The Bedrock Beliefs give room for all of us to go deeper with God, to find more in the meaning of each statement and to incorporate what we hold personally sacred too. This week I invite you to give thanks for those things, places and people that draw you deeper into God’s presence.