Can you remember where you first met your spouse. Do you remember your first dorm room? What about the place where you applied for your first job?
Do you remember the place where you gave your heart to Jesus? For those of you who are married, do you remember the place you were married? A church, a park, on the beach, a golf course, in an office?
How about the hospital where you were rushed to after an auto accident or where you delivered your baby? Your first car? Where you were when 9/11 happened? The Federal Building in Oklahoma?
I remember where I was when I gave my heart to Jesus … in my bed with my mother praying with me. I remember the place where I first saw my future husband. I remember each hospital where my children were born and I also remember the place where I got my first ticket!
Places, both good and bad, are imbedded in our brains. I remember children around an altar seeking God in the church where we were youth pastors. I also remember the place where I fell across the bed and said, “Jesus … at any cost!”
I recently read an article by Gloria Gaither on her blog that brought tears to my eyes …
In the article she recalls sitting with a long time christian friend who was going to have her 12 year old grandson visit for two weeks and this child had never been inside a church. This lady had been a christian nearly all her life and had raised her children in a christian home but somewhere along the line this boys parents had never taken him to church. So this lady told Gloria she was going to take him to the church and show him where his parent had been raised. The place where we sat, the altar was the place where we knelt and prayed, this is the place where we say our vows in marriage, this is the place where we say goodby in death, this is the place where we can learn about God and celebrate in communion.
“Places” are important to look back upon, places where we build memories and memorials. That place where we made our commitment to serve God.
Calvary was a place. The tomb was a place. The Garden of Eden was a place. The pool of Bethesda was a place. Solomon’s temple was a place. All of these can evoke memories of places we’ve read about or even visited.
Do our children and grandchildren have memories built around God’s church? Oh, I know we can meet God at any place in any circumstance but it is important to build good memories in the right places. I know our church buildings look different today than they did in the past but we can still show our children and grandchildren the important places that put us in a good place to meet God.
I recommend that you read Gloria Gaither’s blog and listen to the powerful song written out of this encounter.