An Acceptable Loss (of Place)

I have rather enjoyed the posts that Keith and Andrew have written about the theology of place. One thing that stood out to me though was one of O’Donovan’s points as raised by Andrew:

“2) The theological universalism of Christianity: the coming of Christ brought a seismic shift into the conception of holy in the world: no longer is the sacred found in one place, but wherever people “worship in Spirit and truth”. All places can be consecrated to God.”

If this is one of the ways that a sense of place is lost then I have to say, good riddance. If there’s a really stupid thing to fight over it’s a low rising hill of no geographical or economic importance in a semi-arid region of a small state – in other words, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Yes I understand the history of it, and I understand how people may feel strongly about this place, but really, how many people have died for this hill? I know there are some premillennialist Christians, in addition to the various Jewish and Muslim groups, for whom this hill means a great deal – but for me, it doesn’t, and I’m glad for that. I wish more people would take the view of rabbi I saw interviewed about a service offered a number of years ago where people could fax prayers to the Western Wall and someone there would stick them in the wall. The rabbi was perplexed, he wondered why so many would think that God was oblivious to anything that didn’t make it to Jerusalem.

Would I like to see Jerusalem? Yes, as a matter of curiousity, historical inquiry, et cetera, but I have need to plant a flag there.