Holy Ground

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Where is “Holy Ground” these days? I have heard people reflect that they are missing being present in their church sanctuary because that is where they have felt close to God. I understand that. I remember sitting in various sanctuaries that seemed to invoke a sense of the Holy. This experience provided assurance and peace. But it was also empowering. In Exodus, Moses saw a burning bush and God told him to take off his sandals because he was standing on holy ground (Ex. 3:5). But what makes ground holy? What makes a certain place holy? We know that Moses did not stay at that place. Rather, the experience launched him on his journey of leadership with a spirit of courage.

A church I had served used to sing “This is Holy Ground…because God is present and where God is, is holy.” Holy ground is connected to holy moments: whether in a sanctuary or on Zoom meetings; whether in the midst of a protest for justice or crying on the phone with someone who is feeling lonely and afraid; whether challenging a law that promotes inequality or delivering food to those who are unemployed. Taking the time to invoke God’s presence, centering our thoughts and awareness of God’s love for each person, can turn an ordinary experience into a holy experience.

As we keep moving through these challenging times, may we seek the presence of God in many places – whether physical places or in relationships. Moses did not remain in that safe place where the ground was holy. But it gave him the courage, the focus, the grounding that he would take with him as he adapted to various situations, including challenging the forces of power. Although there were difficult moments, he never gave up.

May we seek that holy ground that will continue to move with us through this time, as we seek to listen for God’s presence and feel God’s assurance.

Blessings, Char Burch
Transitional Conference Minister