Wow. Did we ever imagine our lives could be so upended so rapidly by something completely invisible and unintentional? War with Korea, environmental catastrophe, even civil war – those I could have imagined – but calamity not intentionally created by humans? I didn’t see that coming…
Tuesday’s headline in the Aspen Daily News advised us that all nonessential businesses must close or face heavy fines or jail time. This unfathomable new chapter in our country’s history has forced us all to consider what is essential and what is not. I am writing to invite you to consider that, as Christians, daily access to an altar is essential. Stay with me on this…
Last Sunday it was my honor to set the Chapel altar as a sacred space for our online community worship and connecting time – both with God and with each other. As I was lighting the eight candles, I was struck by the powerful imagery of lighting altar candles in this “dark” time. It felt like an act of defiance against fear and anxiety. An act of hope. An act of faith and courage. (If you’re not familiar with it, do listen to Peter, Paul and Mary’s passionate song, “Light One Candle”.)
For centuries, Christians from many denominations have created and prayed at home altars, both individually and as families. The tradition is said to have originated in the time when Abraham spontaneously built an altar – separate from any tabernacle or place of worship – simply in gratitude to God. (Genesis 12:7) The twelfth chapter of Genesis tells the story of how Abraham, not unlike us in this current predicament, was called to leave everything familiar and “go into a land that I will show you” (Genesis 12:1). Once in Canaan, Abraham built his altar of praise and thanksgiving. To Abraham, setting up that altar was essential.
Fast forward to our situation today. Might an altar be essential to us, too? I think so. I invite you to create an altar and sacred space where you live. Get creative, and listen to the Holy Spirit (and your children!) and choose what items on your altar would help you feel connected with God through this time. Many use candles, flowers, perhaps a Bible or a favorite picture of Jesus, saints or angels, or even scenes from nature. Some add photos of those for whom they are praying. Make it your own. There really are no rules, just make it personal and meaningful. If you are willing, we’d love to see photos of what you have created. email@example.com
Please know we love you and are praying for you and our entire community and please let us know if you need some extra help or a call.
Thanks for your Inspiration-Sue
Psalm 121: 1&2 I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help?
My help comes form the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
Good stuff Sue- well done,
Grace and peace be with you