I will lift up my eyes unto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
the Maker of heaven and earth
We are a connected people and often throughout our lives our connectedness is located in "place." We remember where we were when monumental events occurred. Sadly, the examples are too often tragic - the Challenger explosion, 9/11 and too many others. Where we were at the time of these events is seared in our memory.
Yet, there is a counter, and arguably a more profound, sense of place that joyfully trumps these tragic examples. In the Bible, Moses met God at the foot of Mount Horeb: Take off your sandals, Moses, you are on holy ground. While unique to Moses, this event and others are examples of how events located in time and place profoundly influence individuals, and, may in turn, influence all of humanity. Certainly Moses is an example.
Few of us are called to be Moses, but all are called. Mo-Ranch is a unique place where often that call is discerned. You get a sense of that when you enter this place; a place that for many is holy ground.
He was just eight years old. I was his pastor. It was his first summer camp; an anxious time for parents and campers. I asked him upon his return, "How was it?" "Pastor Dick it was the best experience of my life and I am going to summer camp every year for as long as I live!" I asked him to think about it and tell me later why it was such a good experience. I remember it as vividly as if it happened yesterday. It was the first Sunday in Lent. He was with his mother. "Pastor Dick, I have been thinking about what you said. At camp I decided I wanted to be a Christian, will you help me." Holy ground.
You get a certain sense that this place is special when you pass through the front gate. Somehow it has been set apart. Maybe it's the Guadalupe meandering through the hills; perhaps an encounter with a deer or a sighting of a Baltimore oriole. Or there is a feeling that you are somehow closer to God when you ascend to the Chapel on the Hill - a gentle breeze seems to breathe on you and there is a sense of renewal.
It's difficult to capture this place - words seem inadequate, even insipid. The fact is, this place captures you and you are transformed - it is holy ground.
I invite you to this place, this holy ground, to experience it, to breathe it in and let it breathe into you .
Grace and peace,