by Ken Rolheiser
Holy Ground and belonging to God

Most readers are familiar with Exodus 3: 3 where Moses sees the burning bush and God speaks to him. Strangely, the bush was not being consumed and Moses realized something was up. Pun intended. God told Moses to take off his shoes because he was on holy ground.

If I may be permitted one more “tongue in cheek” remark, some have speculated about just how hot the ground might have been. One comedian claimed this passage made the first reference to the name of Jesus Christ in the Old Testament.

The great truth here is that God had heard of his people’s cries as they suffered persecution from the Egyptians. Moses is called to lead the Israelites to freedom, though he resists the seeming mission impossible.

As God’s people we also suffer in the present milieu that enslaves us in many ways. We hear many gospel singers, and others, echo the “holy ground” theme. God still walks with us and the places we meet might well be called holy ground.

Popular singer Taylor Swift uses the line “And right there where we stood was holy ground” to underline the sacredness and joy of the moment a couple realizes they are in love.

The thought struck me that when the moment comes that we realize how much God loves us, it is then that we are truly on holy ground. God hears our cries when we pray most dire prayers. He sees our suffering, and then he sends us comfort.

Another Taylor Swift lyric “You belong with me” comes to mind that could describe our relationship with God:
Dreaming about the day when you wake up and find
That what you're looking for has been here the whole time.

If you could see
That I'm the one
Who understands you.
Been here all along.
So, why can't you see
You belong with me…

It’s not a big stretch to say that God makes you laugh, knows your favourite songs, knows about your dreams. God’s thoughts might well be: Think I know where you belong, Think I know it's with me.

Another “You Belong with Me” lyric comes to mind from Patsy Cline (this may date me):
See the pyramids along the Nile
Watch the sunrise on a tropic isle
Just remember darlin' all the while
You belong to me

Yes, the same God who delivered the Israelite along the Nile is here to deliver us from our slavery, whatever it may be. We belong to him.

Barbara Streisand echoes the familiar “On Holy Ground” lyrics:
When I walked through the doors I sensed His presence
And I knew this was a place where love abounds
For this is a temple, the God we love abides here
Oh, we are standing in His presence on holy ground

We are standing on holy ground
And I know, I know there are angels all around
Let us praise, praise Him now
For we are standing in His presence on holy ground
(Songwriter – Geron La Ray Davis)

(507 words)