It most likely was the Greatest Adventure he had ever taken, Abram, that is! Here he was, seventy-five years old. God bids him to leave his home and family and go to a new land. He goes with God’s assurance that God will be kind to those who are kind to Abram and God will be unkind to those who are unkind to him. In other words, God is really on Abram’s side and a person can have no greater companion, defender and protector than God.
Loaded down with many possessions, Abram takes his wife, Sarai, and his nephew, Lot. It is a hot and dusty trip and they grow weary, but they trust God and believe God will bring them to a good place. They arrive in a land called Canaan and they find a large oak tree to provide refreshment from the blazing sun. It is an oasis and they revel in the shade. Then God tells them that this land is to be theirs forever.
“Abram and Sarai and Lot were so thankful to God for this wonderful gift they jumped and danced and hugged each other and shouted ‘Hurray!’ To show God how grateful they were, Abram decided to build two altars to honor God. He would build one altar out of large, smooth stones by the tree and the other altar out of pieces of wood by his tent in the hills.”
What we notice is that wherever Abram is, he will take time and make a space for worship. Here two distinct places are identified: by the tree and in the hills. Thinking of our congregation, many find Cedarkirk to be like that altar by the tree and they find Montreat to be like that altar in the hills. These are places other than our homes, and our church, where we occasionally gather for worship. Other spaces for worship may be at the beach, in a garden, in our room eliminating distractions, or at night beneath the stars. We take time and claim those spaces as places where we worship … where we may be refreshed and renewed
Lord of the Journey, help us always to take time and to make a space for worship, wherever we find ourselves. We thank You for Cedarkirk and for Montreat, two places very dear to our hearts, where we have been refreshed and renewed as we encounter You there. Bless the staffs of these facilities and for all they do to make our retreats there so inspiring and special. In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.