Most of you know I’m pretty “churchy,” and I am quite traditional about it. After a reading of Psalms 26 and 27, I am again reminded of how delighted I am to be able to go to the “house of the Lord.”
Now my peeve. You expected one, huh? Does your “church” still have their worship experience in the sanctuary or has it become an auditorium? Remember signs pointing to the sanctuary or the sanctuary choir singing, or a sanctuary Sunday School class.? The Bible refers to sanctuary over 250 times. I especially like 1 Chron. 28:10, David’s words to Solomon, “…for the Lord has chosen you to build a house as the sanctuary.” Sanctuary = refuge, shelter, place of safety.
Actually the Bible does refer to auditorium one time (Acts 25:23) where Festus, Agrippa, Bernice, and military officers brought Paul, more or less to call him on the carpet. Auditorium = lecture theater.
Am I dwelling in minutia? Does it matter? It must. Else wise, why the change?
Sometimes blessed things happen in an auditorium. We had my daddy’s funeral in the school auditorium because our church sanctuary would not hold the expected audience. It was needed; however, I still remember it as big and cold.
I hope to be memorialized in a sanctuary not an auditorium. Other word changes that are interesting: memorial rather than funeral; worship experience rather than service; small group events rather than classes.
But I believe these word changes distance us from the holiness of God’s hour. Time will change that; perhaps it already has. I guess it is easier to sell books and drink coffee in an auditorium than a sanctuary. And “sanctuary” beacons one to kneel at the altar or at his seat when entering. Easier to talk in an auditorium.
If I don’t close this my head may soon be on a platter rather than my having it on straight!