Creating Sacred Space
William E. McFarlin of Vancouver, WA, USA
…Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money-changers seated at their tables. Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple…”Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace!” His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.” The Jews then said to him, “What sign can you show us for doing this?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?” But he was speaking of the temple of his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken. -John 2:13-22
The season of Lent is a perfect time to do some spiritual housekeeping. Over the course of our lives, unhealthy behaviors can, without a doubt, find their way into the temple of our lives. Perhaps it is the accumulated effects of eating unhealthy food or failing to exercise as regularly as we should. Perhaps it is acquiring too much stuff or failing to find opportunities to be generous. Or maybe it is falling into the habit of being grumpy or rude.
Through spiritual formation we are invited to allow God to form us into the more whole beings we were created to be. We are to allow ourselves to be shaped into God’s vision for us through letting go of our vision and control of our lives. By doing so, we are freed to simply be-to be who we can be through God. This formation process can be uncomfortable, even painful, as we relinquish to God that which we perceive as control over our lives. When we have control, we do things that are selfish. When we let God drive the unholy things out of our lives, we begin to glimpse the divine hope for each of us.
Just as Jesus cleansed the temple in Jerusalem, so may God cleanse the temple of our lives. We may find discomfort as we give up those things we’ve clung to for so long in our lives: unhealthy habits and familiar vices-things that keep us from being whole, from being more fully formed in the likeness of Christ. I hope and pray that we will have sufficient faith to allow God to cleanse the temple of our lives and create sacred space within each of us.
I surrender into your love.
Set a timer for 20 minutes. (If that feels like too much at first, choose a time that will be comfortable for you as a starting place, committing to expand that time in future prayer.) Allow the rhythm of your breath to draw you deeper and deeper into silence. As you breathe, claim one sacred word (Christ, peace, grace, trust, etc.) emerging in you as an anchor to return you to the intention of your prayer when your thoughts begin to wander. Gently release the thoughts and images that come, making space for presence to the One who is with you here and now. Release, return, “be vulnerable to divine grace” (Doctrine and Covenants 163:10b).
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.