What I’m Thinking: Jacob’s Ladder


I’m thinking this week about Jacob’s Ladder. It’s a vision where Jacob is on the run. He goes to sleep in this place, and he dreams about, well, a ladder, going up into heaven with angels coming up and going down.

When Jacob wakes, he says, “Surely the Lord was in this place, and I did not know it.” And so he anoints a rock with oil, and he renames the place “Beth El,” “the House of God.”

Which makes me wonder about what makes a place sacred?

There are so many places that we call sacred in the world. Some of them, it’s clear, the sacredness has to do with some sort of stunning reality about the place: its grandeur, its beauty, its distinctiveness in the midst of the world.

In other cases, it’s clear that it’s what we human beings do with it that makes it sacred. A pu’uhonua — which has been dedicated for centuries to seeing that people become safe and forgiven — that has a special feel of sacredness about it, but so does a summer camp, where for many years young people get to enjoy one another, the outdoors, and their relationship with God.

So I’m thinking about sacredness, and about how we, and God, make places sacred.

That’s what I’m thinking! I’m curious to hear about what you’re thinking. Leave me your thoughts in the comment section below; I’d love to hear from you.

Categories What I'm Thinking | Tags: , | Posted on July 17, 2017

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