Here’s a question…help me out here: we use the terms “sacred” and “secular” to categorize certain events, phenomenon, and experiences. Skipping the obvious, that these can be helpful categories in distinguishing various lens’ by which we see the world, how do you define, and differentiate between, “sacred” and “secular”? Are they helpful distinctions, or should we get rid of them? Is this, as some suggest, a false dichotomy? If we say, as God did to Moses, “This is holy ground,” what do we mean? Can ground be secular one moment, and suddenly become “holy” simply because we call it so? We call moments holy and sacred. We take spaces, and whether it’s with a simple series of lines, or through a series of massive and costly constructions, we mark them off in some way and call them churches, or shrines, or monuments. If a body is buried under the ground on which we stand, our sense of space and being changes radically. Birth, death, marriage, sex, art, music, suffering…all of these (and far more) become vehicles through which the holy approaches the mundane, transforming normal realities into shimmering unforgettables.
What makes an act “sacred?” Passover and the Eucharist are meals, and we eat and drink much as we do anytime, but something marks them as ceremonial and special. We shower and bathe on the morning of our baptism, and what is the difference in the event? In art, we paint still lifes and crosses, mountains and biblical scenes, nudes and icons…which is holy and why? You are a song writer who loves the sensuality of life and the ethereal touch of God–what do you write, and where do you take the work?
What I’m really wondering here is not only how you might answer such questions, but I’d love to know what leads you to your conclusions. Books that you’ve read? A simple feeling that seems uncontestable simply because it is your feeling? A mentor that told you a particular was true and seemed to live it so completely that you bought it hook, line, and sinker?
Point me to the truth, here, folks…
Is this a sacred conversation we’re having here, or are we just jawing in that secular way?