Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Fayette | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Warren | Webster

Keeping the Faith - Where Nothing Is Sacred

ronniemcbrayer300 aKENTUCKY (4/7/13) - The words “holy” and “sacred” are sometimes used interchangeably. I don’t think this should be the case, as there is a huge difference between the two. Sacred comes from the Latin, “sacrum.” You might recognize that “sacrum” is also the name of the bones in your pelvis. The ancient Romans called this part of the human body “sacred.” It is where the reproductive organs are, and, particularly in the female, it is from where life springs.

Thus, as one line of thinking goes, the sacred was recognized as something that had to be protected and secured. That is an excellent picture, actually, of how we employ sacredness. Human beings create sacred rituals that draw lines, build barriers, and protect and secure our space and turf. We feel we have to keep everything that is perceived as a threat on the outside, so as to guard our life and our future.

A quick example: Not long ago I was preparing to speak at a church and had my always handy coffee cup with me. Without any thought, I sat it down on the pulpit while I was reviewing my sermon notes. This church had more than a lectern or podium. It was truly the “sacred desk.”

A person came up to me and said, “I would appreciate it if you removed your cup. This furniture is sacred.” I complied but then added, “Yes, it is ‘sacred,’ but do you know why? Because it has been designated so by a church committee, not by God. God’s holiness is not violated by a Styrofoam cup” (I didn’t mean to be snarky, but I don’t think this person became a fan).

And a second example: During one of my pastorates we moved from a shabby little storefront building to a beautiful, magnificent sanctuary. It was an incredible upgrade with actual pews, a baptistery, a steeple, and some other sacred things. In our old location we had been picking up children in our little church van and bringing them to worship. These little people were tornadoes. Turned loose in an empty room, they would find something to destroy. When we moved to our new building we kept picking up these children, but I knew it would not last.

During our first week of Vacation Bible School in the new building one of the church mothers retrieved me from my office. She was enraged. “I need you to come with me right now!” she said. She took me to a hallway, pointed at the wall, and asked, “What are we going to do about that?”

Two and a half feet above the floor was a swatch of dirt staining the white wall. It ran down the entire length of the hallway stopping at one of the classroom doors. A classroom of these “dirty bus kids” had all run their hands down the wall as they walked to class, that’s all. But I knew then that there would be no place for them in our new space.

The sacred is the ritualistic space, community, and people-dividing behavior of human beings. The holy, however, is something completely different. Something holy is something that is “whole.” The root word is “health.” In other words, holiness is something that cannot be divided. It is something that is complete, unbroken, and intact.

Thus, holiness is not something defined by lines of segregation or by different shades of acceptance. It is defined by openness and welcome. The holy doesn’t alienate, it invites. The holy doesn’t separate, it welcomes. The holy doesn’t divide, it embraces.

Whereas what is sacred is a small restricted space that must be sheltered and guarded, the old Norse word for “holy” means “a large living room,” where people are made to feel very much at home. I pray that God makes us holy: Whole, healthy, welcoming people! But I also pray that he never allow us to become a sacred people, for when we lose our ability to be hospitable, inviting the outsider in, we have lost our unique witness in the world.

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, speaker, and author of multiple books. You can read more and receive regular e-columns in your inbox at www.ronniemcbrayer.me.


Disclaimer: The content supplied by columnists and letters to the Editor on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any of such content, statement, or opinions therein. SurfKY News does not necessarily adhere to or endorse content provided by outside non-staff sources.

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

3/12 - 718 switched from reg 2 to hopkins only
447 on Feb 15th (Val ad ended) switched to kid books
CHANGED TO SIMPLE AD ON 2/19 619 HITS

Stock Report

1 DOW 16,408.54
-16.31 (-0.10%)    
2 S&P 1,864.85
+2.54 (0.14%)    
3 NASDAQ 4,095.52
+9.29 (0.23%)    
3/12 - 718 switched from reg 2 to hopkins only
447 on Feb 15th (Val ad ended) switched to kid books
CHANGED TO SIMPLE AD ON 2/19 619 HITS
3/12 - 718 switched from reg 2 to hopkins only
447 on Feb 15th (Val ad ended) switched to kid books
CHANGED TO SIMPLE AD ON 2/19 619 HITS

In Other News...

Warrant Amnesty Period in Trigg County

CADIZ, Ky. (4/17/14) — The Cadiz Police Department is working with the Trigg County District and Circuit Courts for the… Read More

Bremen Man Charged for Possession of Controlled Substance

BREMEN, Ky. (4/17/14) — Muhlenberg County Sheriff Det. Troy Gibson, assigned to the Pennyrile Narcotics Task Force,… Read More
3/12 - 718 switched from reg 2 to hopkins only
447 on Feb 15th (Val ad ended) switched to kid books
CHANGED TO SIMPLE AD ON 2/19 619 HITS

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

April 16, 2014 19163

UPDATE- Sheriff's Office Following Leads…

in Top Stories by Taylor Riley, SurfKY News Reporter
April 14, 2014 6476

U.S. Bank Hanson on Lockdown Due to Bomb…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
April 14, 2014 5295

Pedestrian Killed During Two Vehicle…

in Top Stories by Chris E. King
April 17, 2014 4094

KSP Nabs St. Charles Man Wanted by U.S.…

in Top Stories by Trooper Stu Recke
April 15, 2014 3108

Police Searching for Sureway's 'Baby…

in Top Stories by Taylor Riley, SurfKY News Reporter

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

April 14, 2014 5295

Pedestrian Killed During Two Vehicle…

in Top Stories by Chris E. King
April 17, 2014 4094

KSP Nabs St. Charles Man Wanted by U.S.…

in Top Stories by Trooper Stu Recke
April 15, 2014 3108

Police Searching for Sureway's 'Baby…

in Top Stories by Taylor Riley, SurfKY News Reporter
April 15, 2014 2752

Multi-Agency Investigation Leads to Drug…

in Top Stories by Lori Blakeley
April 15, 2014 1066

State Approves $500K for Hopkins Archery…

in Top Stories by Rebecca Hanchett

Most Read Stories from Owensboro

April 14, 2014 2141

Grow Garden Grow - Spring Has Sprung

in News by Barbara Cecil Russ
April 15, 2014 1679

Owensboro Police Investigate Auto Accident

in News by Michael Hathaway
April 15, 2014 1333

Owensboro Parks Offers Tennis Lessons

in News by Britni Bunn
April 15, 2014 989

Happenings and Meetings Owensboro

in News by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News
April 14, 2014 705

Owensboro Health Hosts Tours for…

in Top Stories by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

April 16, 2014 3020

Sheriff's Deputies Nab Central City…

in Top Stories by Sheriff Curtis McGehee
April 14, 2014 2611

MCC Staff Shares Good News with…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News Reporter
April 15, 2014 1983

'Walk Right Back' An Everly Brother's…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News Reporter
April 15, 2014 1810

Local MCHS Students Train at Job Corps

in Top Stories by Karen Robinson
April 15, 2014 1480

Thumbpickers Unite at Mose Rager Day

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News Reporter

SurfKY News Group, Inc. Central Office & Printing Division
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431  •  270.452.2249 (fax)
Main Number: 270.452.2727 (phone)  •  Printing Division Direct Line: 270.821.8600 (phone)

SurfKY Owensboro News Bureau
920 Frederica St. / Suite 210  •  Owensboro, KY 42301  •  270.683-8060 (phone)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social 06social 21social 22social 04social 03