VESSELS - Why We Are Thin Places And What This Means

A man representing people as thin places

Last week I wrote about thin places and their importance inour busy lives. So often we associate thin places with physical space, so I want to write a post about people as thin places, specifically us.

It starts with Christ.

If thin places are about bridges between heaven and earth, where the divine feels more tangible, then Christ is the ultimate thin place, the ultimate conduit for the glory and presence of God. 

In ancient Israel, the priesthood acted as the go-between for God and His people

It was the priests who performed the ritual sacrifices, and the priests who entered the holy of holies in the temple where God’s presence dwelt.

The writer of the book of Hebrews calls Jesus our High Priest. When Christ died Matthew records that the curtain in the temple, separating the holy of holies from all else, was torn in two. Jesus is now the new mediator, the new thin place.

The writer and apostle Peter makes bolder claims, that we are the new priesthood, the new mediators of this presence, through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit within us.

The writer and apostle Paul also talks about this theme in his first letter to the church in Corinth, explaining that we are not just the priests, but also the temple, the place where God dwells.

We are thin places

We need to ask ourselves; are we being thin places to those that we meet. When they encounter our presence, do they feel like the veil between and heaven earth is a bit thinner?

It is important for us to understand that there is nothing inherently special about places that are identified as “thin places”.

The rocks are not imbued with a heavenly vigour, the grass doesn’t shine with holy radiance. They are just as “earthy” as everything else. Thin places are there not to show us that some places are more special or sacred than others, but to show us that all places are sacred, and now we can see that more clearly.

It is the same for us. 

In his second letter to the church in Corinth Paul describes us as not just temples or priests, but as earthen vessels filled with great treasure.

It isn’t about how we look, or how smart we are, but is about whether we help others to see that they are made in the image of God.

To help them see that they are precious. To help them see that the other side of eternity already exists within them.

Do we call forth the best from within them?

Do we help them to encounter the radical, breathtaking love of God?

Do we help them to see the infinite value that is placed on them?

May we help others encounter this life-giving, loving God. May we help others understand the potential and beauty found within them. And may we be thin places.


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