There’s something cozy, comforting, and safe about having a place. Treehouses, forts, and the like exist, I think, because they offer the ones who use them a feeling of “ahhh! This is cool! Or “Now I can finally relax.”
In congregational life, different rooms in the church building become that way – for some it is likely the sanctuary. For some it may be a place like a “youth room.” The places become sacred to the groups that meet in those places.
In those places people find community. They find goodness. They find safety. And all of that is wonderful.
Until the place becomes one that serves to keep others out.
The clubhouse too often is less a safe and comfortable place and more an exclusive place where the unwanted are never permitted. Treehouses, forts, sanctuaries, and youth rooms become that all too often.
In this week’s Bible reading from John 17:6-21, Jesus prayed for his disciples. He prayed for all of his disciples. And his prayer was not that they would all have their separate places and reasons to make others unwanted.
Nope. Not at all.