This summer, I taught at the Lamplighter Guild, a weeklong artistic pursuit for Jesus-loving artists. I was so glad to teach photography, and dive into documenting God at work in hearts and lives. (Check out the photography class’s awesome work!) It was a hands-on faith adventure, as my husband and I prayed through whether I should teach, whether I should travel, and what it should look like to do so in the middle of a pandemic.
I told you that story to tell you this one:
As I was walking through the town, I decided to double-check my navigation. Now, my sense of direction is vastly improved from what it once was. But I’ve learned through hard experience that it’s still a wise choice to check which way is actually east sometimes. (What’s that? The sun always rises in the east? And that helps you find your direction? Interesting.)
When I checked Google Maps, I saw a beautiful thing: Lamplighter Ministries was tagged on Google as a “Place of Worship.”
Now, many would categorize this venue as a publisher, or an educational facility, or a 501 (c)(3). But there it was, perched in tiny Mt. Morris, New York as a place of worship.
Walking down the uneven sidewalk from one side of town to the other, I smiled and pondered. What if we all categorized our homes, our favorite haunts, our venues for work that way? What if you and I claimed our spaces as Places of Worship? That business, that coffee shop, that grocery store…it can be a place of worship too.
I kind of want to recategorize everything on Google Maps with this designation.
The subsets on Google Maps help us categorize a location or a business based on the actions we typically take there. However, there is a spiritual action that we can take at each one of these places—a reminder that, as followers of Jesus, our every action at every location has the potential to be an act of worship.
So here is the challenge: This week, let’s mentally re-categorize our locations as places of worship. My home is a place of worship. The kitchen is a place of worship. Your home office or workplace is a place of worship. That couch in the living room at the end of a long day is a place of worship. School is a place of worship. Church is a place of worship. Your walking route is a place of worship.
What if you thought about your home and work and living space as a place of worship? Raise the roof with praise to your Creator. All of life is sacred, and you bring the holiness of God with you wherever you go.
“This is where I find my soul,
out where holy men of old
First knelt in soil
and thanked you for the rain.
Wrote the songs that filled the air,
herald angels sang their prayer
Out beneath your darling constellations.
So let me off and wander,
robin song and thunder
Surrounding me with stained glass leaves
that change with every breeze.
And out here in the stillness,
I find my house of worship
With column trees and canopy of stars,
here in my cathedral.”