I’ve never heard of a sanctuary city until recent news, but it made me think how we are desperately in need of such. In the Old Testament, the sanctuary was the inner court where atonement for sin would take place. The sanctuary was a place of God’s dwelling (“Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them.” Ex. 25:8). According to Numbers 8:19 it was a place of safety from the plagues. In I Chronicles 28 God instructed Solomon to build Him a temple, a sanctuary. Importantly, while Israel was away from their homeland and scattered throughout different countries, the Lord said that He was a sanctuary to them. (Ez. 11:16)
Regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or age people are hurting and they need a sanctuary place. They need a place to find God. Would your city be friendly to them? Would your home be a sanctuary? Would they feel God’s presence in your life and see His love reflected in your eyes? Have you asked that person who stands on a street corner with a cardboard sign their name? Are you a safe place for disclosure, for someone to open up about his or her life without judgment? Hebrews 9:24 states there is no longer a man-made sanctuary, for it was only a copy of the true one. You and I are that sanctuary, practicing the presence of God to the lost, misplaced, adrift, disoriented and confused ones.