I was reading an excerpt from an address of Dietrich Bonhoeffer to a congregation where I came across these words:
“We all know that Christ has, in effect, been eliminated from our lives. Of course, we build him a temple, but we live in our own houses. Christ has become a matter of the church or, rather, of the churchliness of a group, not a matter of life.” (Bonhoeffer, Dietrich Bonhoeffer…, 43)Every once in a while I find myself in a conversation about the value or need for sacred spaces (usually meaning church buildings). I’m not generally a big fan of church buildings and the building programs and financial indebtedness that it creates. But I think Bonhoeffer hits on one of the more subtle yet more tragic consequences of separate spaces for religious/spiritual activities. Our devotion to Jesus morphs into event-oriented, geographically-specific religious activities. It is no wonder that most Christians have very little daily connection to Christ and his call to take up the cross and follow him. We have compartmentalized Jesus by literally building physical structures for Him. Until our lives and homes become sacred spaces, we will continue to live duplicitously.