Sacred Space

IFWe sit comfortably on specially provided green plastic chairs, our bottled water, with our Bibles, close at hand on the small table that serves as a pulpit.   The young girls have lovingly covered the old table with a pristine white lace tablecloth…..a prized possession in this small house.  Outside the half open door people wander or cycle down the road, sometimes turning to glimpse inside with curiosity.  A mosquito is biting at my ankle and the pervasive scent of poverty dominates the air around us.

It is our last meeting in Yangon, Myanmar, before departing for Kuala Lumpur then onto Australia the next morning.  After three days of seminar teaching we have come to our host’s house church to share fellowship and worship with those who live and gather here.  It has taken over an hour to get here this morning by taxi through chaotic Yangon traffic.  It is the coolest time of year in Yangon but still the temperature heads quickly towards the low to mid thirties celsius.  Coming from Australia we are used to warm sunny weather, but this is not Australia, it is South East Asia, and the heat is heavy and oppressive.

Then worship begins and once again we remember why we came and how privileged we are to be here among these fellow Christ-followers.  No matter that we don’t know the language of the worship;  we know and recognize the Spirit Who saturates the worship.  No need for electronic instruments, flashing lights or giant colour screens here.  Most of these people have never heard of Hillsong or Passion.  Just an unknown worship leader with an old six string guitar and simple hearts loving and longing for God despite their circumstances, despite their poverty, despite their unknown futures.  And as the sound rises I realize that once again we are entering that sacred space reserved for the Bride of Christ as she communes with Father, Son and Holy Spirit in Spirit and in truth.

I have experienced this elusive ‘sacred space’ on a few other rare occasions.  As I listen to the voices and soak in the sweet Presence of the Bridegroom I think of another small house half a world away in remote Western Kenya where, as I listened to a group of rescued orphans and street kids worship some years ago, Heaven seemed to join us.  Again, those kids had nothing: no electricity, no water and no assurance of where their next meal would come from.  But they wanted more of Jesus more than anything else in life.

Then, as now, we were ‘caught up together…to meet the Lord in the air’.  For a few intensely beautiful moments the very air surrounding us became that cloud of sacred space, a meeting place of divine Community with cherished Bride, outside the constraints of earthly time or atmosphere.  Now here it was again, this sense of the corporate Bride of Christ being lovingly embraced by Father, Son and Spirit within a sacred, secret space that only she can enter.

These people are not super saints.  They battle many of the same temptations you and I contend with, and live their lives in an atmosphere of persecution and spiritual warfare few of us in western nations have experienced.  But they know how to lean on God with utter dependence and they know how to worship, not out of abundance but out of poverty and hardship.

I have returned home again, as on other occasions, profoundly grateful to have shared this sacred space with the Bride of Christ in the nation of Myanmar, and deeply in awe at the knowledge that all across this earth the Holy Spirit is raising up a Bride of every tongue,  tribe and nation whose united heartcry is “Come, Lord Jesus”.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied, He said. Righteousness is a Person, not a religious attainment.  And those who seek Him shall find Him, and in Him shall they be deeply satisfied.

You may wish to hear some of the worship from our Yangon Seminar now uploaded to You Tube here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xey7gTiikow

And here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8lR_uxQqd8

© Cheryl McGrath, Bread for the Bride, 2014   Copyright Notice: Permission is granted to freely reproduce any Bread for the Bride articles in emails or internet blogs, unaltered, and providing this copyright notice is included.     To permanently display an article on any static website please contact me for permission.



Categories: Life in Christ, The Bride of Christ, Words of Grace and Truth

Tags: , , , , , , ,

15 replies

  1. I do so love that sacred space, secret place, too, Cheryl. The Holy Spirit drew my husband and me to it last Saturday night in our home. Golden moments and unspeakable beauty!

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  2. “But a new time is coming. In fact, it is already here. True worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. They are the kind of worshipers the Father is looking for.

    “God is spirit. His worshipers must worship him in spirit and in truth.”

    Blessings Cheryl to you and yours, and your beautiful ministry of Love.

    “The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.”

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  3. Cheryl, I could SO identify with your experiences in Myanmar. Thanks for this inspiring report! For the last 7 years or so my wife and I have been ‘facilitating,’ under God, groups like the one you visited in the East, here in South Africa among the poorest of the poor. Just this Sunday past we experienced some ‘sacred space’ with a group in our home. Not a dry eye – some serious hope and joy amid many challenges, unemployment being a major one! From contact with others it seems the Lord is particularly busy building his church, his way, in the East and in the South.
    God be with you my sister in your blogging and other ministries.

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  4. Oh how my soul longs and hungers for that sacred space! I have been so privileged to have shared that with many different races on my travels when a missionary, Indian, Kenyan, Karen, Thai, Malaysian and many others but the most precious time was some Eritrean friends who now live in exile in South Wales. Their worship was so broken and simple, their beautiful voices professing his greatness despite each one having suffered torture and internment for their faith and how the Spirit lifted them up and embraced them (and me)……..thank you for sharing this.

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  5. This was so truly precious and rare. I wish I could have been there. How tender and gentle is the Bridegroom with his adoring bride.
    God bless you my dear sister. I want you to know I love you in the Lord Jesus. And I love the work he is doing through you.
    Many blessings,
    Scarlett

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  6. “Righteousness is a Person, not a religious attainment.” Amen, and thank God for that!

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  7. Thank you! This is especially precious to us as this is where my husband’s mother was born.

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