“Sacred space, profane time” – post from v-2

18Feb04

Came across this post (thanks to Bob Carlton and Steve Collins). I like it. For three reasons. One. i think there is a kingdom-feel to it. Two. the writer may or may not be a self-professed Jesus-follower. Three. I love the design of the site, there is someting simple yet rich about it. Steve Collins concurs, “the restraint and elegance of the template, … the consideration for standards and accessibility. the colour scheme works for those with visual impairments, it’s available in a large type version with one click. exemplary.” Go visit.

Here’s a quote:

“I’m a lifelong atheist, long accustomed to church-avoidance, so it wasn’t until I was in my thirties that I actually attended services of a high cathedral: midnight mass at St. John the Divine, one Christmas Eve. The air was warm with the press of people – travellers, as I would soon enough understand – and fragrant with incense. The void at the building’s heart was charged: with fellowship, with joy, with a sense of expectation. And I knew all at once what cathedrals were and were supposed to be, in the minds of their original architects: nothing less than airports for God to land at.

Cathedrals are airports. Like airports, there was at least one in every major city or population center. They were great civic works, huge undertakings of fundraising, resource-management, engineering. Their aisles, landing strips picked out not in high-intensity blue but in flickering candlelight. I don’t want to take the metaphor too far, make it too crushingly literal, but I think now of cathedrals (and mosques, temples, shrines, iglesias and storefront full-gospel churches in the high press of their services) as nodes of a numinous travel network perpendicular to ordinary space and time. In the proper frame of reference, to enter them is to cross a threshold and be taken somewhere else, just as surely as I do when I board a jetliner. That’s what I mean by “sacred.”

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