Sanctuary. The word itself brings to mind safety, comfort, and peace. For a tired body and soul seeking relief, it offers rest.
Sanctuary. The primary purpose of the Christian church is to preach and teach the Word of God, and administer the sacraments. In other words, the church is to offer sanctuary in the Word and sacraments where we find safety, comfort and peace. It is only through these means of God’s grace that faith is created and grows.
Safety is found in Jesus Christ alone, our only Savior from sin, death and power of Satan. Our world offers many ideas of safety, but that worldly safety always fails eventually. Instead of seeking safety in government or in whims of a society, we are to find our safety in God alone. Jesus rescued you from certain death- eternal death. He lived the perfect life you cannot live in your place. He died to pay for your sins. You live in eternal safety through faith in Christ. For Christ did not enter a handmade sanctuary, a representation of the true sanctuary. Instead, he entered into heaven itself, now to appear before God on our behalf… Christ was offered only once to take away the sins of many, and he will appear a second time—without sin—to bring salvation to those who are eagerly waiting for him. (Hebrews 9:24, 28 EHV)
Comfort is also found only through faith. When my worries within me were many, your comfort brought joy to my soul. (Psalm 94:19 EHV) We all look for comfort in our lives in many different ways. But true comfort in Christ comes to us through God’s Word and sacraments. There we find that our Heavenly Father loves us beyond our comprehension. We learn that He watches over our lives, provides for our needs and even gives us far more than we deserve. And through that comfort, we find peace.
Peace can mean so many different things. True peace, though, is only found through faith in Jesus Christ. Because of what our Savior has done for us, because of what our God continues to do for us, we have spiritual peace. Even though political firestorms rage around us; even though violence may threaten us, we have peace in the knowledge that nothing can harm us eternally. Our place in Heaven is guaranteed through faith in our Savior. Now may the God of hope fill you with complete joy and peace as you continue to believe, so that you overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13 EHV)
Sanctuary. Christian churches have traditionally called the part of their building in which their services take place the sanctuary. The sanctuary in a church building is where we can find our safety, comfort and peace through God’s Word and Sacraments. It’s a place to leave the world behind and be reminded of all that our God has done for us. May we all find rest in the true sanctuary offered to us by our loving God.
-Rev. Paul Fries