Thursday, December 3, 2009

Altar time

As I walked away from the altar this morning I felt great joy and honor, and a wish to bring this to everyone. 

I fully believe that God is present all the time, that holy moments surround us but we are not awake to them.  Each time I kneel at the altar I am awakened--physcially, mentally, and spiritually.  As soon as I breathe in the wood, feel my knees on the hard floor, I am transported to a new place. I look at the cross above me and I am surrounded by the presence of God.  It is beautiful, awe-full, and tender. 

Sometimes I can only stay but a minute--feeling frightened, likely a time in which I need to stay.  Other times, like today I wanted to stay longer but wasn't sure of the time and didn't want to be interrupted, so I ended my prayer and walked away.

As I walked away, I realized that I am tremendously priveledged to have a key, an in to the sanctuary any time I feel the need.  I can come day or night it does not matter.  I wonder if others do the same.  I know of a few people who have keys and do come into pray.  One comes in late at night/early in the morning before the dawn and loves to sit and pray in the darkness.  She says its most beautiful then.  But what about the rest with keys--do they know they can come, any time and pray?

What about those with no keys?  I long to go back to the days of unlocked churches, unlocked sanctuaries that are open for prayer, for refuge.  Out of fear, we lock our doors, even in a house of faith.

3 comments:

Mompriest said...

I know what you mean...the first church I worked for after ordination found a way to keep their sanctuary and nave unlocked while securing the rest of the building - people in the town knew that chuch was open and could come in any time, day or night. And they did. police officers, moms, dads, others...it was cool.

Mary Beth said...

amen.

Sue said...

Amen. I've been known to stop in the middle of a hectic day and just sit in the quiet (and usually cold) of the sanctuary. The silence is so healing.