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Standing on Holy Ground ?





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Standing on Holy Ground ? 

Exodus 3: 1 - 6 , Moses and the burning bush : Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the God appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that although the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, "I will go over and see this strange sight - why the bush does not burn up." When God saw that Moses had gone over to look, God called to Moses from within the bush, "Moses! Moses!" Moses said, "Here I am." "Do not come any closer," God said. "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground."  


Moses didn't seem to know he was standing on holy ground, until God told him. Does that mean we always need to be told by God when we are standing on holy ground, or do we sometimes just know, can we feel for ourselves when we're on holy ground ? 

What places might be holy ground for us ? What about here - inside a church has to be holy ground, doesn't it ?! What about somewhere like Lindisfarne, or Iona - if you've been there, did it feel like holy ground ? If you haven't, do you think of them as holy ground ? 

You may have a place that is special to you - perhaps a mountain, or a river, a forest or an ocean , is that because it feels like holy ground ? Why is that ? Did something happen there, is it the way it feels, or maybe there's another reason ? 

But what about places, that don't feel special ? They may be places where we spend a lot of time, like - at work, or the supermarket, a traffic jam, or a committee meeting, your home, or garden ? Do any of these feel like holy ground ? If they don't, why is that ? Maybe it's because it's such a familiar place, or maybe nothing special has ever happened there, perhaps it's not a happy place for you. There are probably all sorts of reasons.  

But - and here's the thing - if a place is holy ground because of God's presence, and if we believe God's promise that He is with us always, if God is everywhere that we are, does that mean that everywhere we go is holy ground ?  

If that's true, does that mean that God isn't just in the special places, or the places we think of as holy? Does that mean that all those places we thought about that really don't feel like holy ground to us, are holy ground, because God is there too ? 

What would it mean if we believed that everywhere we go is holy ground ? Would we behave differently in the supermarket, or the traffic jam, or at work, or at home ? Would we treat people we meet there differently if we believed we were on holy ground ? Would it help us to become more aware of God's presence everywhere, if we lived as though we were always on holy ground ? 

 Ruth Gillett, Reflective Worship

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