Lift up your hands [in] the sanctuary, and bless the LORD. Psalm 134:2
Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. Psalm 150:1
On a recent road trip, I found myself peeking into the cars that quickly passed wondering what their life was like. In the pouring rain, one man had his window down with his arm hanging out the window. Was the window broken? Was he trying to stay awake? Was he lonely? Some drivers were alone while others were in cars so over-stuffed that I thought surely they may fall out of the door.
I caught myself playing the same game that I often play while walking my neighborhood. I look at the houses that I pass and wonder what life is like on the inside. Do they love one another? Are kind words spoken there? Is it dark and depressing or full of joy and life? Is it cluttered or beautifully decorated? Is anyone being abused behind the brick and mortar I stare upon?
On this particular day, my car was full of peace, joy, worship and a happy napping husband. From the passed out look on his face, someone looking on may have thought that I had punched him out. They would have spied a big smile on my face because my car was full of worship. I was talking to God about all kinds of things. I would pause my singing just to thank Him for the beauty I was beholding. I shed a few tears of joy. I was having church at 75 miles an hour rolling up the interstate.
Each bump in the road would awaken my husband and he would immediately ask me if I needed him to drive. My quick answer was always the same, “No I am just fine. Go back to sleep.” I didn’t want anything to change because I was in a sanctuary. A holy place to not be disturbed.
I am reminded of my friend's bumper sticker on the back of her van. A "Rolling Sanctuary”... It always enticed me to want to crawl in and sneak into a little corner of her van. Mari is a creative genius and I have always been fascinated by her. Her creative passion for whatever is going on at the moment has a way of pulling you into her world. No wonder I wanted to crawl up into her “Rolling Sanctuary.” Her phone was full of glorious worship playlists, podcasts of sermons, and teachings on a wide range of topics. I came to understand that her van was more than her escape from hubby and five children and all the demands that go with family. She saw all of her traveling time as an opportunity to worship and praise the God she loves. Many pastors, teachers and leaders disciple her on any stretch of road.
Think about it. We can make any space a holy space. You don’t need mood lights, candles or essential oils. You don’t even need a building. All you need is the Spirit of God and you naming it holy. Yes, your vehicle can also be a rolling sanctuary and no bumper sticker is necessary.
Webster defines sanctuary as a consecrated place; a place for worship; a place of refuge and protection. Sometimes we forget that everything is holy. Every space is to be claimed for Him. The car itself is not holy, but when I step into it, I bring the Holy Spirit within and it changes the atmosphere. This is true of every place that my feet touch. I can call it holy...a sanctuary.
Your house, your bathroom, your tiny apartment, your cubicle, your treadmill, your office, your vehicle and yes even your sick bed can all be holy places of peace and worship. There is one thing for certain that we have all learned during the 2020 pandemic. Church is not a building. The building is not the sanctuary. We are the church. We are God’s dwelling place.
So if you pass me on the road, don’t mind me if I don’t wave. My eyes are on the goal set in front of me and I am lifting my praise and thanksgiving to Jesus. I may be caught peeking into your car wondering if you are also in a rolling sanctuary. Try it. You will quickly be convinced it is amazing.