Thursday, May 24, 2007

A Green Cathedral With A Sky Blue Dome

As the weather gets warmer (at least here in southeastern Michigan), you may want to consider expanding the locations in which you pray to include an outdoor location. This is something found throughout the Bible and in church history.

Isaac, the son of Abraham, is recorded as meditating in a field (Genesis 24:63). The Lord Jesus is known to have prayed outdoors (Mark 1:35) and seemed to be fond especially of praying on a mountain (Matthew 14:23; Luke 9:28). We find in the book of Acts that a praying community in Philippi met by a riverside (Acts 16:13). In 18th century America, Jonathan Edwards would walk in a field or in a forest for a time of prayer and contemplation on the things of God.

The outdoors are, of course, a part of God's creation, They reflect the beauty of His holiness and the depths of His creative thought. My family and I are blessed to have an 11 acre forest as a part of our backyard. Due to its size, I have referred to it as the "green cathedral". We have also been blessed to be able to visit my in-laws' place in the eastern part of Michigan's Upper Peninsula for a week's stay during the summer. On a clear night, the starry dome of the sky automatically lends itself to prayer. While the original ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome was painted with a starry background, I suspect no human-built place of worship can exceed having the actual stars as the ceiling above you.

As opportunity permits, take advantage of this original and most beautiful of worship sites, the very creation which God Himself made.

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