Holy ground

DH posed an interesting thought on the way to church one morning. “If we are supposed to take off our shoes as a sign of respect at home, then why don’t we take our shoes off when entering church?”

He was referring to both the Hawaiian/Asian custom of footwear removal before entering a house, as it is considered unclean, as well as the admonition by God as he spoke to Moses at the burning bush:  “Remove your shoes, for you are standing on holy ground.”

I originally wrote this piece in 2008, and as I reviewed old posts, noted that this one had lost most of its content (due, I’m sure, to multiple episodes of “downtime” suffered over the last year). I no longer remember what the moral of this story was…..

In the meanwhile, we have called a new priest-in-charge. Pastor Katlin is young, energetic, and scrappy.  She, too, raised that question early in her tenure, and indeed, now often removes her shoes as she reads the Gospel lesson and administers the sacraments.  Lay Eucharistic ministers, acolytes and lectors…even communicants often follow suit.

I’m not sure. Yes, “He” is present wherever two or more gather in his name. Yes, “He” has promised “I am with you until the end of time.” And I suppose that makes holy ground anywhere “He” is.

But the church… “His” holy bride…..is us. Not a building. Not the altar rail. Not the communion table. Us. In all our (non)glory; sins/love/failures/successes/greed/generosity. At work, at play, at rest. I wonder if God would now admonish us to go barefoot all the time because, as “His” church, WE are always walking holy ground……