Many independent communities meet in living rooms, rented halls, or other similar spaces. Solitary priests may be celebrating the eucharist atop a chest of drawers in the spare bedroom. No grand cathedrals to gather and form our mood. How then do we prepare ourselves inwardly to go to the altar, when that altar is the coffee table? Ronald Heaver (known in some circles simply as Zadok – the name of a high priest under David and Solomon, 1900-1980) maintained a small, plain sanctuary in a back room of his house in Keinton Mandeville, near Glastonbury in Britain. At the door of the chapel was this inscription:
Enter this door as if the floor were shining gold and every wall alive with glowing gems of wealth untold. Enter as if an unseen choir in robes of fire were ever praising the Shekinah glory here. Abandon Earthly fears, be free from care, for in this Sanctuary, enshrined with the illimitable power of all encompassing Eternal Love Divine, the emanations of Divinity draw near. (from The Old Sod, by A. Richardson and M. Claridge, p.137)
Many a visitor to Heaver’s chapel testified that this was no mere fantasy, but an experienced reality. The threshold of Heaven is everywhere. We just have to look.