Friday, September 15, 2006

Sacred Space; further thoughts

We were having cofee this morning on his patio. He and his wife have been attending the church for just less than a year. They came from a interesting background of church experiences, from very contemporary to bery traditional. What caught my attention was when he said; "You're a pretty good preacher, but whoever designed the sanctuary and the regular altar pieces hold my attention more than your sermons." At first I was a little taken aback. But as we talked, he shared with me his reaction again the evangelical cult of personality driven churches that make worship successful if the preacher "delivers" a great sermon. He often gets lost in the stained glass, the altar, the cross, and the light.
I do not belittle the role of the personality of the pastor (being both a pastor and someone with a distinct personality). But I liked his thought that the sacred cannot be totally dependent on the leadership climate of the moment, the emotional setting worship leaders produce or the stirring story a pastor tells. If the Word is read and sung....that's really enough. God's encounters with his people throughout the Bible were not always channeled through and eloquent speaker (ala Balaam's ass!).
So when you go to your house of worship this week, were do you encounter the sacredness of God beyond the personality of the staff?


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