Wednesday, June 08, 2011

All is Sacrament

The outline of a sermon preached at a Celebration of Wholeness and Healing on Wednesday evening, June 8, 2011, by Hawley Todd, TSSF.

Our reading for tonight is from the Book of Common Prayer, from the section called the Catechism.

On page 857 we read:

Q. What are the sacraments?

A. The sacraments are outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual grace, given by Christ as sure and certain means by which we receive that grace.

Critical issue is sure and certain means by which we receive that grace

Many people of different religions and spiritual practices get all concerned about what is and what is not a sacrament.

How many of you were baptized?

If you are Buddhist, how many have taken refuge in the Buddha, the dharma, and the sangha?

If you have practiced Hinduism, have your received diksa?

How many of you have taken Healing Touch?


Other healing traditions?

Almost all traditions have initiation ceremonies and various rituals.

Rituals are just another name for sacraments.

What I love about the BCP is that it continues on pp 860-61 and talks about other sacramental rites.

And on p. 861 it asks

Q. Is God's activity limited to these rites?

A. God does not limit himself to these rites; they are patterns of countless ways by which God uses material things to reach out to us.

Isn’t that awesome!!!!!!!!!!!

Several months ago, I gave everyone here, who wanted it, some Frankincense Essential Oil. Pure 100% Frankincense. We anointed ourselves with that oil. That was a sacramental act!

As far as I am concerned that was a sure and certain means by which we received God’s Grace.

When Bob plays the drums and we all join in, we are engaged in yet again another sacramental activity. The vibration of the drums sets up frequencies that facilitate our receiving the holy.

I have been trained in a number of different healing modalities.

Christianity calls anointing with oil and the laying on of hands a sacrament in some denominations and in the Episcopal Church it is a sacramental rite.

The name or the word we use for it doesn’t matter.

What does matter is that it is a sure and certain means of Grace.

Guess what? I have been trained in both Healing Touch and Reiki.

We have our rituals too!!!

For many years when I worked at St Thomas Church, my primary time of worship and receiving God’s Grace was the weekly Healing Touch session I received from my friend Judy Bowers. Judy was a nurse, worked on my healing team at St Thomas, and also was a Healing Touch Practioner.

Yet for me the most holy time of the week did not take place at the parish where I worked, but it took place on her table during those weekly healing touch sessions.

Granted, I experienced God’s presence daily at my parish. Yet what I want you to hear is that God uses many material means as sacraments – as means of Grace.

They are not limited to the church or to Reiki or to Healing Touch or to Holy Oils.

Lately God has been blessing me with the special energy and vibrations in various rocks and stones.

How many times have you been blessed by watching the clouds or seeing a sunset or sitting on a beach? They are all sacraments. The Grace is there. It is free – simply open your heart and mind and receive it!

When Jesus held up the bread and wine and said this is my body and this is my blood, he was not limiting grace to just those material items.

Ask the Holy Spirit to be manifest for you in everything! Bless everything and be blessed by it in return.

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