Psalm 19; Exodus 19:9b–15; Acts 7:30–40
“What Holy ground,” isn’t a rhetorical question. It’s a real one. What is Holy ground?
The land surrounding the “burning bush” was Holy…for a time. Notice that it wasn’t important to God or Moses what happened after that encounter. It was only important during that encounter.
How about the mountain? Well, we’re pretty certain we know which mountain. There certainly are Muslims who are certain which mountain it was. There is no temple on it where people worship God or have “Holy” experiences.
Holy ground isn’t a small question. The people of the church are trying to figure out a whole new reality to that question. Is digital Holy? If so, when? It’s also not that digital is forcing a new question to be asked. It is just so completely different to the understanding of church, community, and gathering that it cannot help but be obviously different.
Small groups have long been a staple in the church. The Wesleyan movement (of which we, the Church of the Nazarene, are a part) has high regard for the place of “classes” (groups of 8–20) and “bands” (groups of 3–6) for developing an understanding of being Christian (classes) and living as a Christian (bands). Both classes and bands had experiences of Holy encounters. They became Holy places.
In other words, the church (or the Wesleyan expression of it) already has a place of Holy ground that isn’t “the church” (Sunday morning worship).
As of late, I have discovered a new Holy ground for me and my encounters with God. Of all places, it’s in my living room. It is next to the gas fireplace I use to disregard as a pathetic excuse for a fireplace (i.e., it doesn’t burn wood). Yet, I have learned that flipping that switch I belittled is now a quickener to focused time with God. I’m already dreading Summer and not turning it on.
Another Holy place for me is now Google Meets (Google’s answer to Zoom). I meet with my band and I meet with my class on Google Meets. My band used to meet at Starbucks, but now half my band is out-of-state. We still have Holy ground together. My class started over Zoom then moved to Google Meets. We didn’t start in person, and probably never will meet as a class in person. We still have Holy ground together.
Where you find Holy ground is not wholly irrelevant. However, if you are truly encountering God there, even in a garbage dump, then even the garbage dump is Holy Ground.
Finding Holy ground is not (really) optional. As a follower of Jesus, we must find time and place to be with God. If we cannot find one, we must make the effort to do so.
Susanna Wesley (the mother of John Wesley, the primary founder and leader of the Wesleyan movement) found her Holy ground underneath her apron in the kitchen. With a large number of children running (if they ran) around, it was there that she encountered God.
Don’t look for that big or special place to encounter God. Look for that Holy ground in the everyday to encounter God.