If you ever happen to find yourself in the home of someone who practices the Muslim faith, look around and see if you can find a high shelf with a book perched on top. In many Muslim homes the Qur’an is considered a sacred book.
Traditionally, as a sign of respect for their scriptures, it is always kept on the highest shelf in the home so that it is above all other books. To them this book is sacred. The idea of certain things being sacred has a long history that is often forgotten in our current culture. In the Old Testament, there were sacred geographical areas, sacred buildings, sacred writings and sacred people.
I believe we don’t use the term “sacred” often enough anymore. As Christians, we believe that marriage is sacred, and it is for that reason we discourage the idea of divorcing or redefining what the term means.
We also believe that all life is sacred, which is why we fight against abortion and encourage adoption. The term “sacred” helps us communicate that we are not just against certain ideas, but that we believe things like life and marriage have a very important spiritual foundation to them.
However, it must be noted that we see even the church struggle with views on marriage and life, and perhaps that is because we have lost the sacredness when it comes to our Scriptures. Few things are to be as sacred to us as Gods word.
The term “sacred” can have several definitions, but it essentially means that something is set apart for the use of worship. In our everyday lives there are common objects and ideas, and there are also sacred objects and ideas.
Your body is a sacred object to be used for worship. Your Bible is not a sacred object, but it contains sacred words. Unlike Muslims, who put their book on a shelf as an act of respect, we are told to place the words of God on our hearts so that we might not sin against God.
I spend my days reading and studying God’s word, and I can testify that familiarity can breed contentment. This is why I have to daily remind myself that the words I am reading are not just words of advice but are the very thoughts of God.
I find that when I take a moment to remember that these words are sacred, then I slow down when I read and find myself fascinated by the thought that God not only loves me, but He wants to talk to me.
When I was in high school, I threw a wild party while my parents traveled abroad. In spite of my best efforts to clean the house and remove all signs of my rebellion before they returned, my father could tell what had transpired. I remember him explaining why my offense was so great. It wasn’t that I merely threw a party; it was the fact that I did it in a home that God had provided.
My dad saw our house as something more than bricks and mortar; he saw it as a sacred space. It was God’s house; He had merely loaned it to us. His words cut deep to my heart, and many years later I still apply that lesson to my life.
I had never thought of our home as a sacred place before, but when I became a believer His word, all the things He had blessed me with took on a new purpose. It is because of Scripture that we know marriage, life and so many other things are set apart for use by God.
This week my prayer is that we will remember the sacred and place God’s word on the top shelf of our hearts.