For several years, I’ve been thinking about the (unfortunate) divide between sacred and secular, and finding myself much more interested in the mundane side of that false dichotomy. So I took special note today as I watched a public TV documentary while trying to get Lucia to sleep. In it, a lavishly bearded Adirondack craftsman was demonstrating his furniture making skills– envisioning (which often happens while walking through the woods and finding unusual trees), design, and construction of strikingly beautiful pieces of art. I was struck by his expertise and by his high standards: he has won multiple awards and has several pieces in museums, but the very first pieces he made weren’t quite what he wanted, so he burned them in his yard. But what really rang through for me was a statement he made with tears in his eyes, “It’s so wonderful to realize that something I have made finds its way into the everyday life of another person.”
Yes, there is obviously something wonderful about that which is sacred, holy, or otherwise set apart from regular life. But what interests me is the way in which the elements of our regular life are made holy by our intention, dedication, and appreciation. Was I living after God more when I presided over Eucharist this morning, or when I talked to my friends at Chipotle afterward? And was the Eucharist bread more the body of Christ when it was ‘special’ and ‘holy’ and ‘distributed’, or when the little kids ran around sharing it with each other after the service concluded?