July 5, 2013 by Anthony Ward
I find it extremely interesting and “coincidental” that many of the spiritual words that we so often use in church are very much romantic in nature. And yet seldom do we see or relate to them in that manner.
Hear are some examples of words we use to describe the interaction we have with our Heavenly Father; devotions, quiet time, relationship, worship, love, adoration, fellowship, holy and communion.
Look at the word communion for example. It means to receive the emblems of Christ’s body also known as the Eucharist. But it also means interchange or sharing of thoughts or emotions; intimate communication. I like that, intimate communication; nice.
Would you consider being on an amusement park ride a good setting for intimate communication? Fun maybe, nothing wrong with, it’s just not the setting for intimate communication.
What if you are at the same amusement park but the two of you are on a patio at a café sitting at a table facing each other. The hustle and bustle of the amusement rides, the screaming and laughing and crazy music happening all around you but in the middle of all that, you have each others attention. That is a setting for communion or intimate communication.
How about words like sanctify, holy or consecration, all romantic in nature. To sanctify is to make holy, set apart as sacred or consecrate. In the Catholic Church consecration of the bread and wine, called transubstantiation, is the moment when the bread and wine becomes the Eucharist. In Protestant Evangelical churches it is called the Holy Communion (intimate communication). Communion is creating that moment of intimacy where we add value to the bread and the wine and we declare it to be holy and set apart.
To be in a room full of people laughing, playing games, celebrating and feasting on bread and wine one would hardly call that holy or set apart. The apostle Paul was charging us to not take communion in this way, in an unworthy manner, in a manner where it’s not holy or set apart or “romantic”.
What if you were to find a secluded spot down by the lake, somewhere set apart from the crowds or the busy traffic. Where the sun is shinning, the trees are leisurely swaying back and forth caused by the same breeze that is blowing gently on your face. How sacred, how romantic, how holy and set apart does that sound?
John Eldridge has described it perfectly in his booked entitled The Sacred Romance. There is a sacred romance that is taking place all around us. God, the creator of all the earth is drawing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. He is drawing us into this sacred romance. He is calling for us to give Him our heart, to go “deeper” spiritually. He wants us to enter into a place of setting ourselves apart to enjoy His presence one on one, face to face, with intimate communication.
There are times when I will hop on my motorcycle with my bible, thermos of coffee and worship music in my saddle bag and I will ride to a secluded spot down by the lake as I just described. It’s there that I acknowledge that because of the cross of Jesus Christ I was completely holy and set apart before I ever arrived at that spot. Yet there becomes something very holy about that spot as I choose to enter the secret place of prayer and communion that Jesus talks about in Matt 6:6.
According to the Westminster Catechism we are called to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. To enjoy God is to enter in to that sacred romance. Let God romance you and learn to enjoy His presence in a whole new way. Create an experience; moments of intimacy, closeness and affection.
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of the Father and the communion of the Holy Sprit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14