Preparing for Easter: Notice the sacred in the secular

Words on the street warning: look both ways

'How is God calling us to look around with God’s eyes

and see all things sacred, and act accordingly?

This question was posed by Rev. J. Douglas Paterson in a sermon at FUMC Ann Arbor—the first sermon in a Lenten series entitled “Intentionally Christian.”

Intentionally Christian? What does that look like?

In the days of the early church, “Lent” was a time when the focus was on teaching new followers what it meant to be a Christian. It was like a prerequisite class to joining the church! The sermon series “Intentionally Christian” seeks to take this olden-days practice as an example, by asking questions like: “How do we conscientiously and purposefully live out our calling as Jesus-followers?” and “What is God asking me to do?”

In his first look at being intentionally Christian, Doug talked about how we often separate our lives into two facets: the sacred and the secular.

Our sacred life is when and where we practice our faith; it’s when we notice God. We hear ourselves say, “there is Holiness in this moment.”

And then there is the rest of our life, the secular or, the “worldly.” Unfortunately this latter slant is where we often forsake our faith and behave as if God is not involved. We don’t notice God’s presence and in fact, we aren’t even looking!

OK, so there should be no difference in the way we view what is secular and what is holy. That should be easy enough to do, right?

Wrong! I, surprisingly, have found that this can be hard to do! It takes careful thought. It takes being deliberately intentional! (Oh yeah – the title of the sermon series!)

We live in a world that is waiting for us to notice holiness. Share with your family members what mundane aspect of life looked holy to you. And share with all: What have you been noticing lately?

Photo credits:

Look by Travis Nep Smith; licensed on Flickr under Creative Commons (BY-NC 2.0).

One thought on “Preparing for Easter: Notice the sacred in the secular

  1. While walking my dog recently, I heard a familiar but faraway sound. A faint trumpeting from way up high. I squinted my eyes and patiently scanned the sky. Eventually found what I expected from the auditory clue: sand hill cranes flying above-a sure sign of spring! If I hadn’t been listening, I would never have known they were up there. Same with looking for God-how many times have I rushed through something distracted or hurried, only to miss traces of God at work in my life or others?

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