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  • Allen Domelle

Reverence My Sanctuary


Leviticus 26:2

Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the LORD.

God expected respect and reverence of the sanctuary where He met with His people. God told Moses, reverence my sanctuary. The word reverence means to respect, hold in high esteem, or to hold in high regard. In other words, God’s sanctuary was not to be treated like every other place; His sanctuary was to be reverenced because it was the place they met with a holy God.

I certainly understand that God was talking about the sanctuary of the tabernacle, but why should we treat the sanctuary of the church in any less regard than God desired from the children of Israel and the tabernacle? We live in days when the sanctuary, the place we meet to hear the preaching and teaching of God’s Word, is treated more like a movie house or a social club. There ought to be a reverence when it comes to the sanctuary of our churches. Though God does not live in the sanctuary, it is the place we meet to have His Word preached and taught to us, which should cause us to hold this place in reverence. There ought to be an attitude when you walk into the sanctuary of the church that this is a holy place. Let me share several suggestions on how to reverence the sanctuary.

First, do not let your children run in the sanctuary. My mother taught me that the sanctuary was not a playground, and she expected my siblings and me never to run in it. If she ever caught us running in it, she would have spanked us for such an action. She was teaching us that the church sanctuary is a sacred place and should be reverenced. I believe what my mother taught me should be taught and expected to be followed by every child.

Second, do not treat the sanctuary like a restaurant. I am amazed at how many come into the sanctuary with coffee cups and drinks, as if we are going to a movie or show. I am not saying this is wrong, but I do believe we need to be very careful in this area so that we don't lose our reverence for the sanctuary.

Third, pick up after yourself in the sanctuary. I am always amazed what the sanctuary looks like after a church service. You would think we just watched a ballgame at a stadium. Everyone needs to pick up after themselves and stop leaving their trash lying in the sanctuary. The fact that someone could care less about leaving trash in the sanctuary shows their respect for the place and for God.

Fourth, sit up and listen in the sanctuary. Children need to be taught to sit up, listen, and never mess around in the sanctuary. The sanctuary is not a place to catch up on the latest scores, emails, or news of the day. Put the phones away and respect the sanctuary. I truly wonder what God thinks of how many people sit carelessly in the sanctuary as His Word is preached and taught. There should be such a respect for the sanctuary that you would never consider giving your attention to anything else other than the church service.

My friend, the degree to which you reverence the church sanctuary does show how much you reverence God as this is the place we meet to hear His Word. Let us be careful about letting the social club churches affect our reverence of the church sanctuary. Let us keep a reverence toward the church sanctuary so that we never lose our reverence toward our holy God.

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