“God said, “Don’t come any closer. Remove your sandals from your feet. You’re standing on holy ground.” “(Exodus 3:5)
I wonder what Moses felt in that moment, when he encountered God. What reverence and awe he must have experienced. How his heart must have pounded. And what an encounter that changed the course of his life forever.
In the “Father of Lights’ documentary, while in India, they film a man of God who sits and shares about Jesus with a Hindu Guru. During the conversation, the Hindu Guru, as he encounters the Living God for the first time, removes his sandals. Not because he knew of Moses, for he did not, but because he became aware of God’s presence and realised he was on holy ground. His life was changed forever by the encounter, and he left eager to know more of Jesus.
We might not have literal burning bush moments, but like the Hindu Guru, across our days, our lives, we can encounter God in such a way as to make us aware that we too are on Holy ground. It is in these moments that His presence is so tangible. Your feel your spirit leap, eager to engage God.
I had one such encounter in Assisi, Italy. As my husband and I walked the narrow streets in search of a place to eat, the Church bell rang out to tell of Evening Mass. And then down the narrow steep street came a procession of nuns on their way to Mass. And in that moment, in the streets of Assisi, as the sun was setting, my eyes welled with tears as I knew I was on Holy Ground.
I had it too, as my family and I gathered around my Grandfather’s hospital bedside and we sang simple hymns of worship. Knowing my Grandfather would not be with us much longer, it felt like we touched eternity as we began to farewell him from this earth into Heaven. At that moment, God’s presence and His angels were all around and we stood on Holy Ground.
Holy Ground encounters. They’re not restricted to times in Church, or to times we have intentionally purposed to spend with God. I have found that Holy Ground encounters happen for me as it did for Moses, as I go about my daily life. The key is to keep a heart open to Him and a spirit set towards Him.
I can’t help but recall the song sung by Barbra Streisand – On Holy Ground
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 God now, praise Him anyhow
For we are standing in His sweet presence on holy ground
In His presence I know there is joy beyond all measure
And at His feet, sweet peace of mind can still be found
For when we have a need He is still the answer
Oh, reach out and claim it for we are standing on holy ground
Let us praise, let us praise Him now, praise Him anyhow
And we are standing in His presence, ooh, in His holy wonderful presence
He loves us in our hour of sorrow, He’s our hope, our hope for tomorrow
We are standing in His presence on holy ground, holy ground all of it