Thursday, March 20, 2014

Places of Encounter with God

Meditations on Genesis 28:16-17 and context

Where can you meet with God? God chose to meet with Jacob in a "certain place" while sleeping on a stone that he just picked up somewhere. Nothing special. Nothing fancy. It did not even have a name. But God chose to meet with him there. He gave him a vision of a stairway, or maybe more likely like a series of steps (not like a ladder with rungs), where the heavens (i.e. the sky) open up and reveal the glory of God (angels ascending and descending, with the Lord Himself at the top of the stairs). The Lord makes a promise to him that would make his life truly meaningful for all eternity. When he woke up, Jacob was so moved by the experience that he creates a pillar of stones to commemorate the event and he called the place Bethel. From an ordinary place to a meaningful and sacred place. That's what happens when God meets with us. Anywhere. Somewhere. We should cherish such places. But we must not worship the place. Let each place simply be a reminder to us that God is closer than we think, just like what John Ortberg says in his book with that title. Let us not become so hurried and anxious that we fail to recognize that any place can be a sacred place when God meets with us there. There may be many places waiting for you to encounter God but you're just too busy. Why don't you transform the present place you are in right now and make it into a house of God. Worship Him now wherever you are and He will meet with you.

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