On page three of the March MB Herald is a feature called:
Question of the month
How often does your spiritual practice include a sacred space for rest?
-more than once a week
-once a week
-once a month
-when I go on vacation
Another question Mennonites might be asking before they answer is, what exactly is a sacred space? If they search the internet for the answer, they will find 2,390,000 results.
Here are the first five most popular:
1) [www.sacredspace.ie] – Sacred Space can be a website run by the Irish Jesuits with meditations to lead you in contemplative prayer.
2) [www.asacredspace.ca] – Sacred space can be a body, mind and soul treatment and community healing center in Alberta based on New Age, Eastern meditation and occult methods.
3) [www.sacred-space.nl] – Sacred space can also be about interspirituality – chakras, horoscopes, New Age and the metaphysical – ‘we are all children of the same universe.’
4) You can create your own sacred space here at [www.asacredspace.ca/]:
Creating a Sacred Space
A place for peace and introspection
Sacred Space can be as small as the breath taken in during prayer, as large as a cathedral or as expansive as an ocean view.
Unless you already have a special peaceful place set up in your home I suggest you challenge yourself to create a “sacred space” somewhere within your living area….
Once your space is in place you will likely want to honor it by doing some type of ritual, be it Wiccan, Native American, casting a gypsy spell, giving a prayer of gratitude, or blessing it in whatever way best aligns with your belief system. You will soon find yourself drawn to this sacred space more and more as you seek the solace and restfulness it provides. You begin to wonder how you ever lived without this Sacred Space that offers much healing, comfort and warmth.
If you click on ‘photos’ you will find out that a sacred space can also be a labyrinth, a prayer wall, an altar, a garden, or the Dalai Lama’s palace.
5) Jhadten Jewall [www.sacred-space.nl/] creates ‘sacred spaces’ – places in consciousness where you are one with your soul and its purpose and enjoy every moment of your incarnation! This includes Whizzard Cards, sacred journeys, soul readings, mother earth charity, etc.
And on and on the ‘sacred space’ list goes, from Shamanic, Buddhist and Zen sacred spaces to vampiric and yogic, but nothing associated with Christianity can be found for pages and pages.
As Christians, are sacred spaces something we need to have for our spiritual practices? Isn’t this what separates us from the pagan religions?
23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. John 4
And if we make a ‘sacred space,’ even for rest, are we practicing Colossians 3:2 which says to “Set your mind on things above, and not on things on the earth”?
A while ago Dan Kimball wrote a book called Sacred Space: A Hands-On Guide to Creating Multisensory Worship Experiences for Youth Ministry (Soul Shaper). This book is all about multisensory experiential worship, emerging church style (see here).
This is a picture of a prayer corner/sacred space from another book by Dan Kimball called Emerging Church: Vintage Christianity For New Generations. This is what the emerging church means by sacred space.
Is this what the MB Herald means by a ‘sacred space’? And what does it mean to rest in such a space? How can Mennonites answer a question that they don’t understand?
Multi-Sensory Worship Practices
The Emerging Church – Revival Or Return To Darkness?
Faith is a matter of the heart
For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies” (Matthew 15:19).
We cannot too often insist upon it that religion is a matter of the heart. It is the besetting sin of man to forget that God is a spirit, and that worship rendered to God must be of a spiritual kind. Idolatry is the full carrying out of this mischievous propensity. Instead of adoring the Great Invisible, and giving him the love of the heart, man sets up a block of wood or stone, and, burning incense and performing genuflections before it, he cries, “This is my god.” Where this idolatry does not assume the very grossest form it takes another, which is equally as objectionable in the sight of God.
Man pleads that he cannot worship God with his heart unless his memory is assisted by some outward object, and then he smuggles in his idol, and gratifies his depraved nature with will worship and outward formalism. God requires soul worship, and men give him body worship; he asks for the heart, and they present him with their lips; he demands their thoughts and their minds, and they give him banners, and vestments, and candles. Where man is hunted by very shame from outward superstitions, he betakes himself to anything sooner than yield his heart’s love to his Maker, submit his intellect to the great Creator’s teaching, and render all his faculties to the service of the Most High.
–C.H. Spurgeon [HT: The Berean Call]