BY: CARRIE MEYER McGRATH, MDiv, MAS
Leader: Let us be still in the presence of God and one another.
Study the space we share at this moment. Note the windows, fixtures and furniture. Consider their color and size. Visualize what is behind the walls, under the floor, above the ceiling. Imagine what materials were used in crafting this space and the process and people who put it together.
We are quick to see God's work in the natural world, but what of our built environments? How do the rooms in which we live speak to us of God? Is God concerned with these rooms in which we move and live and have our being?
Reader 1: God said to Noah, "Make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high. Make a roof for it, leaving below the roof an opening one cubit high all around. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks." (Genesis 6: 14-16)
Reader 2: God said to Moses, "Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you." (Exodus 25: 8-9)
Leader: Most of our spaces are not designed on the divine drafting table, but God's attention to the details in designing Noah's ark, the Ark of the Covenant and Tabernacle of Moses remind us that the small things matter. They are both functionally and spiritually significant — the use of natural materials and light, the dignity of the laborers, the beauty and functionality of the furnishings can create a peaceful, sacred healing space.
Pray with me a blessing for this space.
All: Loving God, be close to those who dwell in this room.
May its walls be a reminder of the strength and shelter you offer to your people. May they remain strong to provide sanctuary and peace to all who enter.
May its windows invite us to look out into the world and seek ways to serve. May they remain clear and bright, undimmed by anxiety or despair.
May its door be a reminder that you stand waiting at the door of our hearts and may it always remain open in hospitality to the stranger and the outcast.
May the fullness of peace and joy embrace all who come here. May good conversation, willing collaboration, hearty laughter and love of you rest on all who enter this space. Amen.
Copyright © 2019 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States
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