Psalm 63:2-4 (NIV)
2 I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory.
3 Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.
4 I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.
Romans 15:13 (NIV)
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
I could feel an incredible sense of peace as I walked along the cobblestone garden path toward Serra Chapel in San Juan Capastrano. In October of 1776, Father Junipero Serra established this mission on this beautiful California coast line. Father Serra felt a call from the Lord to share Jesus Christ with the Indians and villagers who lived here. He needed help to launch his vision. Father Serra enlisted the services of two additional padres and an escort of soldiers to help him build the church. With lots of hard work and prayer, the mission grew rapidly. A sanctuary was erected in 1777. It is still in use today. Known as the oldest church in California, the Serra Chapel still stands for the honor and glory of Jesus Christ and in tribute to the vision and faithfulness of Father Junipero Serra.
The facilities are under constant renovation. Scaffolding lines the altar area of the orginal sanctuary. Craftsman and painters work outside to restore the stone pillars to its original beauty. As I knelt in the back of the sanctuary, I could hear the canticles of praise rising up through the voices of the chapel priests. Many people come to pray here. The flickering candles provide light down the narrow aisle toward the altar. The hard-wood pews were very uncomfortable to sit in. This sanctuary was definitely a place to worship the Lord on bended knee.
The garden area was simply breathtaking. The tropical foliage danced and embraced the warm spring sunlight. Jesus Christ lives and reigns in this sacred place. I could feel the presence of the Holy Spirit hovering above me. Many people come to the Lord here. When I closed my eyes, I could sense the powerful prayers of the faithful that had been borne through worship of the King of Kings.
Have you ever experienced a place embraced with such an overwhelming peace that you never wanted to leave? I could have easily stayed in that sanctuary for the remainder of our trip. Surrounded by the beauty of the ocean, San Juan Capastrano brings a little bit of heaven to earth, and I was one of the fortunate ones to experience His peace as I worshipped in the sanctuary.
We are forever surrounded by a living sanctuary. Sometimes we get so busy doing, we forget that we are walking on holy ground. Can you see Jesus where you are at this morning? Is He walking next to you, standing right in front of you, or whispering in your ear from behind? Will you see Him as you scrub your bathroom floor, while pulling weeds from your garden bed, or when you sit on the bleachers at your child’s softball game? Where do experience the living Christ? Jesus is inviting you to meet Him today right where you are. If you are looking for a place of peace to pray and praise, come join me in the sanctuary to worship Jesus Christ. Experience the peace that passes all understanding. When Jesus takes hold of your heart you will find abundant life today, and every day thereafter; and life everlasting in His kingdom to come.
Grace and peace,
Pray for: willingness to hand the Lord of life your heart today. Come into the sanctuary and experience the peace that only Jesus can give. I’ll see you there!
© Copyright 2007, Deb Spaulding
All rights reserved
Articles may not be printed in any “for profit” publication without further permission by the author. Articles may be freely distributed via e-mail, reprinted in church bulletins or in other non-profit publications without further permission. Please keep this copyright and Web Site information intact with copied articles. Articles are sent originally to subscribers only. You may have received a forwarded or reprinted copy.