Monday, January 25, 2016

Recognizing a Thin Place

Edmond FUMC's cross is a
Celtic cross noted by the ring
surrounding the intersection.
Celtic Christianity has long recognized what it calls "thin places" which are physical locations on this earth where the line between heaven and earth are very thin.  These would be spiritual places where one seems to be more likely to encounter the presence of God.

It is difficult for our theology to acknowledge thin places if we assume that God is omnipresent. Preceding grace tells us that God is there before we arrive.  Yet there are places that seem more holy to us - places where worship is more likely.

For me, our United Methodist camps in Oklahoma - especially Canyon and Egan seem to be thin places where I am more likely to have a spiritual encounter.

I do believe that God is present everywhere but I also know that we are more likely to perceive God's presence when we are in spiritual retreat.  I would say that the worship of God in a place where it has been observed regularly for years make it special to a multitude of people over many generations.  I believe my current appointment in Edmond is such a place.

We baptize and offer communion regularly here and have since before my parents were born.  We have celebrated weddings and have remembered our beloved dead.  We have sung the hymns of faith and prayed both communally and in private.  The holy narrative - our narrative  - of scripture has been lifted up time and again.

This Sunday, we will celebrate our renovation and addition.  We will re-consecrate this sacred space and bless the new space for generations to come.  My hope is that this is a thin place for those who come to worship.

In any of the stories of the Bible, those who meet with God are changed.  It is not something to be taken lightly.  We do so with reverence and a sense of answering God's call.  So our church should be a place where we are not only comforted by God but also challenged to grow in our faith and discipleship.

If you are in the Edmond area this Sunday and you don't have a regular place to worship, please join us at 8:30, 10:50 or 11:00 am as we celebrate God's continual presence among us.  If you liver farther away, you might join us online at!live-stream/c1jx.

In Christ,


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