Holy Places | UMC YoungPeople
Connecting young people and their adult leaders to God, the church, and the world
November 2012

Holy Places

By: Nick Chrisohon

There is a palpable cloud of tension in anticipation for the changing weather as the dark and cold of autumn rolls in to town. I don’t mean to sound bleak, because many people I know welcome the cold air. Autumn is symbolized by pumpkin spice, warm soup, and the advent of the holiday season. This time holds great personal potential for many people.

The coolness and darkness beg us to stay inside, get comfy by a fire with loved ones or a good book, and settle into the quiet comfort of home. To me, these times and places are holy.

We need holy places in our lives.

In a world where so little is sacred, we have accidentally lost our ability to make spaces safe and sacred. Our lives are in a constantly open forum, and privacy has become something that is protected rather than expected.

In other words, we leave ourselves little room to make spaces holy for us. While I am sure many of you equate “holy” to “church,” that is not the case here. I don’t find comfort in every chapel I encounter, and the park is often just as good.

It has taken me a long time to find holy space in my home city of Nashville. My rebellion from traditional church led me to congregations that didn’t believe what I did – so I left those too. Bouncing from place to place with no comfort left me empty inside. I felt drained, because I did not even like being at home.

I’ve spent much time thinking about the importance of home and holy spaces and how we can find comfort in them. We all need a place that is where we find rest, take time to meditate and let our souls breathe, and, if nothing else, let our tensions be at ease.

We must take time to invest in places that can be holy spaces. We need places where we can encounter the holy presence of heaven; we need community and we need solace. Whatever it takes for you to allow your soul to be at rest, find your holy place. Trust me - you need it.

Discussion: What does it feel like when you aren’t comfortable or at rest? What is the value of holy space in your religious life? What is the value of holy space to your personal and social lives? What steps will you take to claim or reclaim holy spaces in your day?

See more devotions from Nick, and our other Young Adult writers, or find out how you can become a writer yourself at our By Young Adults for Young Adults devotion page.