Sacred vs. Profane

 

Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart.  And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.                                                                                                                                                                                  Luke 2:51-52

In an earlier reflection I talked about the difference between mistakes and sins. I noted that Jesus made mistakes, just as all human do, but he did that without the motivation of pride, which is the basic source of sin. The mistakes Jesus made were common as well as maturational ones- he had to grow up and learn the way things worked. He caused his parents, Mary and Joseph a lot of suffering when he did not travel home with them one time, and he didn’t bother to let them know where he was going to be. The writer Luke said at the end of that passage,

 Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart.  And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.

In short, Jesus had some things to learn about how humans should behave.

I’m sure Jesus also occasionally hit a nail wrong, forgot to do a chore, etc. This fully human part of Jesus was hard to understand, and some early writers had to find a way to deal with it. They explained it in a lot of different ways.

The Gnostics did it by seeing two different worlds- sacred and profane; physical/material vs. spiritual; one higher, one lower; therefore, they denied Jesus’ human nature; they denied his physical make-up and saw this only as an illusion, that he was divine, but not fully human. They believed that the only way to transcend the two worlds was through “special knowledge” (gnosis)- which they had or could attain.

We struggle with this distinction still today; we tend to maintain “holy places”. Jews had the temple, early Christians had cathedrals, basilicas, monasteries, etc. The church building, in the Middle Ages was a sanctuary for those running from the law- if you could get to the church, you would be safe because it was sacred ground.

The distinction of what is “sacred” and what is “profane” continues. I believe that anywhere we acknowledge and honor the presence of God, that place becomes sacred no matter where it is.

More on this tomorrow 😊.

 

Prayer: Thank you Lord that you have made a plan to be with us, right where we are, Amen

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