• By Rev. Joseph A. Bias

Sacred Spaces

“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” 1 Corinthians 6:19

Recently, I sat in our beautiful Tudor Gothic styled Cathedral enjoying and being inspired by the majestic architecture, the beautiful stained glass windows, the elegant and stunning East Window depicting Christ in His glory standing before the throne of God surrounded by the seven Spirits of God with angels and archangels as spoken of in Revelation 4 and 5. This is a sacred space. Everything in it is intended to direct the mind and heart toward God, toward Heaven and toward a sense of the majesty and power of God. In this sacred space we are called to worship God in spirit and in truth.

In Revelation 4 ad 5 John the apostle speaks of seeing and hearing the voice of four Living Creatures around and nearest the throne of God. Encircling them and the throne are the 24 elders, the 12 patriarchs of Israel and the 12 Apostles of Jesus. Encircling them are many angels, 10,000 times 10,000 and thousands of thousands,

“…and every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.” Revelation 4:6-5:14

As I looked around the sanctuary I imagined it inhabited by angels and that those who gather in this space week after week are part of that host of every creature on earth surrounding the throne of God as depicted in the East Window. Jesus is at the center of our worship and all our focus is on worshiping and expressing our adoration for Him, then listening for His voice to speak into our minds and hearts the life giving words of God. This is indeed a Holy, sacred space. We are careful to do our best to maintain the integrity of it and to allow only those things that honor Him to take place in it, and to use it, as often as possible, as a space for encountering Him in His transforming power to save, to heal, to lift up, and to transform us from death unto life.

It is a sacred space dedicated and consecrated to the glory of God.

But this space of concrete, stone, marble, glass, wood and fabric is sacred only to the extent that we who utilize it preserve it for God’s holy, sacred purpose. Otherwise, it could be just another building with interesting architectural and decorative qualities.

There is another holy and sacred space where the Spirit of God dwells and is called to be regarded, used and preserved as a sacred space for the glory of God.

That space is you and me. Do we regard our minds as sacred spaces? They are. Do we regard our bodies and sacred spaces? They are. Do we regard our hands and feet, our ears and our mouths as sacred spaces? If we don’t we should, because that is how God regards us. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit. We as the body of Christ collectively and we as individuals are the temple of God’s presence. In fact, our bodies are both the temple and the sacrifice to be laid on the altar before God daily.

“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” 1 Corinthians 6:19

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” Romans 12:1

You and I are both a precious possession of God the Father, having been purchased from the penalty and eternity of death–separation from God, and a living sacrifice to be submitted solely to serving God’s eternal purpose and plans.

We are a precious possession and a living sacrifice. But our sacrifice is not one of loss of life, but of the attainment of life and that more abundantly by the sacrifice of our human way that leads to death in order to gain God’s eternal and glorious way that leads to life.

“The fear of the Lord leads to life, and he who has it will abide in satisfaction; he will not be visited with evil.” Proverbs 19:23

“Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Matthew 7:14

The way is narrow and difficult because it requires self-denial, an attribute not valued among this present generation. But it is rewarded far beyond the momentary labor to attain it.

“The labor of the righteous leads to life, the wages of the wicked to sin.” Proverbs 10:16

The more of our way, our feelings, our personal pleasure we lay aside to please God, the more benefit and reward we will receive and realize in Christ. Put simply, it’s like exercise. When we begin it’s hard, and everyday even after we become accustomed to it and maybe even look forward to it, there is still going to be some pain and discomfort involved in reshaping our bodies and building endurance and strength, but the pain is only temporary. The benefits long term are much more rewarding because eventually (and usually a lot sooner than we first thought when we began) we feel better, look better, have greater strength and sustained vitality than ever before. Most importantly we are healthier and less susceptible to behavioral illnesses.

When we accept the truth that our bodies, our ears, our hands and our feet, our minds, our hearts and our mouths are sacred spaces that function best when utilized in and for their intended purpose, which is to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves, and moreover to love one another as Christ has loved us; when we do these things we are at our best and God’s blessings and favor flow unhindered in, through and among us as His holy set apart people walking in the fulness of His glorious presence, blessing, wisdom, power, provision and peace.

#SacredSpaces #TempleoftheHolySpirit


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