Sabbath & Sanctuary
The kitchen was the first room in our new house to get completely set up and "live-in" ready. Considering it's the one place where everyone tends to gather, it was a good choice to be finished first.
When you are moving, it's important to get at least one room completely finished and looking the way it should. It becomes your island in the middle of the chaos, the one place you can go to sit down and breathe for a while before wading back into it.
You might say that such a place acts as a sanctuary.
I looked up the formal definition of the word sanctuary and discovered that it means "a place of refuge or safety." I would also add as part of my own definition, "a place of refuge or safety where you find peace."
When I was in seventh grade I used to ride my bike to a small Lutheran church that was not far from my house. I was always careful to go there when I was sure not to find a soul around. There was something about that place that spoke to me. I felt peace when I sat on the steps, leading into the church.
At the time, my parents were considering selling our house and moving to another town. There was so much up in the air, and I felt a certain amount of chaos swirling around me. Those trips to that Lutheran church always seemed to make me feel better.
I hadn't thought about that church in years, until this morning.
It occurred to me that so much of what we need when we are searching for sanctuary, rest and peace is simply a way of keeping Sabbath. In the busy-ness of our culture we have lost so much of what it means to understand and keep the Sabbath.
The Fourth Commandment simply states, "Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy." But what it means, if we dig deeper into it, is that we are to live a Sabbath lifestyle. There has to be set aside time for us to enjoy Sabbath, and special places (sanctuaries) where we best keep it.
Where is your sanctuary? Where is your place of refuge in the eye of life's storm? If you can't identify such a place, then you should. And once you do, use it to practice leading a Sabbath lifestyle--pushing back against the world's demands, breathing, pausing to worship and simply be.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.