Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Christmas Story

The outline of a sermon preached at the Celebration of Wholeness and Healing on Wednesday evening, January 11, 2012, by Hawley Todd, TSSF. 

The Reading

The Hour of the Unexpected

She was five, sure of the facts, and recited them with slow solemnity, convinced every word was revelation –

She said they were so poor they had only peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to eat. And they went a long way from home without getting lost. The lady rode a donkey, the man walked and the baby was inside the lady.

They had to stay in a stable with an ox and an ass (hee hee) but the three Rich Men found them because a star lited the roof. Shepherds came and you could pet the sheep, but not feed them.

Then the baby was borned, and do you know who he was? Her quarter eyes inflated to silver dollars.

The baby was God!

And she jumped in the air, whirled around, dove into the sofa, and buried her head under the cushion, which is the only proper response to the Good News of the Incarnation.

-John Shea


She was five, sure of the facts, and recited them with slow solemnity, convinced every word was revelation.

I have been studying healing and the various ways learned folks teach about it for over 40 years.

Do you know how old all us learned teachers are?

We are about 5. Sure of the facts. And we repeat them for our students with slow solemnity. And most of us are convinced the words we speak are revelation and truth. If we haven’t received them from some sacred scripture or some inspired teacher, we got our teachings from our spirit guides or ascended masters or God directly.

There is immense wisdom in much of what I have learned and been taught by others. Yet it never ceases to amaze me how certain we all can be that our way is the truth.

I prefer to look at all the different healing modalities and religions as languages. We learn a language so that we can communicate with others who speak that language. We use our language and words to help us make sense of the world around us and give structure to what we experience. Languages are the vessels in which we hold life.

Yet there are other ways we communicate with each other. We are can communicate by a smile or a gesture. We can touch or share in other ways. Yet even those ways are often processed in our consciousness through our chosen language.

So why do I share this with you tonight?

Years ago I had a very wise mentor in healing. While her normal mode of instruction/discipleship was to teach a concise, orthodox Christian understanding of Christ’s healing ministry, she gave me a very different path to follow. Perhaps she knew I was skeptical of all folks who claimed to know the truth. Or maybe she knew that after teaching World religions for five years in a university setting, I might approach things differently. Who knows?

Yet the counsel I received was to study with as many different “healers” as I could find. Sit with what they taught. Take it into my heart and see what resonated with the Holy Spirit within me. And do what seemed to be what God was leading me to do.

People are forever asking me questions about healing and how to do it right. So here is my Epiphany advice.

Be your authentic Self. Work on becoming the person you were created to be. Don’t worry about how others are doing it or the paths they follow. Follow your path. And at least somewhere in the early stages of formation, choose a path and stick to it.

Two of my other primary teachers were a Hindu saint named Baba and a Tibetan Buddhist Tulku known as the 16th Karmapa.

Both of them impressed upon me that it did not matter what tradition I choose--I just needed to choose and practice one. Then, after practicing it and perfecting it for 20 years or so, then branch out. So I did that and worked exclusively in Christian healing for about a quarter century.

I now hold all systems very loosely and at times envy the certitude of the five year old who knows the truth and is sure of the facts.

And as you follow your path, make self-care a priority.

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