-Rev Melissa Fain-
Many ministers across the country have toiled countless hours to find that perfect camera angle in just the right position to bring the worship area to you at home. Many have considered the lighting and sound. Many have tried to compensate for sound and lighting, because they're forced to do everything from their phone.
The truth is, no matter what they do, they can only do 1/2 the work.
Being intentional about going to God
Part of the reason I feel this conversation needs to happen is because we as a faith community have devalued the worship area. There is this innate knowledge that God can visit us at any time and any place. We can have a God moment while hiking a trail in a National Park, and we can have a God moment cleaning our toilet on a Saturday morning. With this knowledge we bring coffee into our sanctuaries; digital games into our worship. Why not? God moments can happen while drinking coffee and playing games. What's the difference?
The difference is direction. God can visit us anywhere at any time. In return, we are asked for one time and one place during our week to seek God back. During that time we must put aside the things that could distract us, and create a sacred space for that meeting.
In a church, that work is done for you. We are given everything from a seat to the smell. Even the feel of the old wood or clean metal is part of the atmosphere. These ministers cannot give you that. You must create this on your own. Maybe you were not super intentional about meeting God before, but now from home requires super intentionality.
Focusing on the wrong parts
Before I continue, I know what I'm about to describe are people joking. I laughed emoted when I saw an image of a family putting two rows of chairs in front of their church's livecast stating- they always sat in the back during church. I also laugh emoted when someone said they always sat in the balcony and they sent an image of sitting at the top of the stairs, while the livecast was sitting at the bottom.
Look, I get the joke, but when I'm suggesting we be intentional about the other side of the camera, I'm talking about the sacred, not recreating your specific seat in the sanctuary. It's difficult for me to do more than hit "laugh emoji," because it takes away the seriousness of worship. Do you believe you are coming to God? Do you believe God will meet you in your engagement? I'm not suggesting we can't laugh and sing, but there is a reality I feel we're dismissing.
I want to show you some spaces being used by congregants streaming their specific worship.
Kurt's Setup with Communion
Kurt and his wife have shared their intentional space for weeks now, and every week it seems to become more and more intentional. They are part of a tradition that partakes of communion every time they worship together. I shared my communion sets a few weeks back. One of them was one of my old wine glasses and a glass plate. You don't have to have a specific communion set like Kurt. You can have something meaningful to you, as you seek God in your space.
Kristy's Space with Candles
It was during Fig Tree's worship last week I suggested to invite the light of Christ into your specific space by lighting a candle before worship. This Kristy is part of another congregation, but you'll notice there are multiple candles, as well as local flowers, and an icon.
Phil's Prayer Space with Icons
In a world where anything can be created, it's nature that priceless. The rocks, crystals and conch shell brings the natural world into the sacred space. Phil holds a special spiritual place in my heart, as I had asked him to speak at my ordination. I love the cloth used to set aside the space.
Jessica's Sacred Spot
Not everyone has icons, crosses, and communion sets at their disposal. Some people just have limited space. This is Jessica's space, set aside for online engagement.
Find Your Space
The important part of all this is for you to find your own sacred space. The Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts 8 asked, "What is to keep me from being baptized?" It could have been answered with a multitude of responses. There were numerous reasons to not be baptized, but Philip didn't give any. He simply baptized him.
In the same way, there are a multitude of reasons we can't go to worship, but it's our choice to ignore them and find the sacred anyway. As God seeks you, go seek God.