This Sunday I will be preaching (I believe for the first time) on the story of Jacob’s ladder in Genesis 28. The word most often repeated in this story is “place.” Some commentators say that the word behind our English word “place” means “sacred place.”
Place matters – something we might forget in our Internet, interconnected age. The where of things is as important as the why or who or how. Imagine a picnic in the midst of the Sahara? Or playing golf in the Antarctic? Place is important, maybe more so than ever. How much of our news is about place? The conflict between the Palestinians and Israelis is over place, for instance.
Jacob finds himself in a certain place. At that place – not in another- Jacob has a dream of a heavenly stairway. A stairway that connects two specific places – heaven and earth.
One of the things that Jacob’s dream foretells is a time when place will not limit God. God is not a God of a place but a people. Not a local deity who cares about local concerns but a God whose concern is everywhere and for everyone. BUT who cares about the place where you are, where I am.
God is in THIS place – no need to search for where God might be. No need to move to where God might be found. No need to wonder if you are in the correct place.
God is in the place where you are right now.
“You realize, don’t you, that you are the temple of God,
and God himself is present in you?”
1 Corinthians 3:16 The Message