A boy was watching his father, a pastor, write a sermon. "How do you know what to say?" he inquired. "God tells me." "Oh! Then, why do you keep crossing things out?"
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A man talked to a pastor. "Sir," he said, "can you explain to me your faith?" The Pastor replied, "Certainly! I can, and I will, if you want me to." The seeker replied, "Well, no thanks. I appreciate your offer, but I am looking for a faith you cannot explain."
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Spirit speaks and works in and through our earthiness, our humanness, not merely in spite of it. This truth is central to sacramental experience. But, please, do not assume I am speaking of sacrament in only a religious sense. A sacrament is a sign and means of heavenly Grace, but that Grace is not owned by any religion or managed by it - as though an institution or group has power to dispense universal Grace at will. Grace and sacramental experience is as much in the daily routine and common life as in ritual and religion - often, more so.
A first-century letter to Corinthian Christians has the following:
Things that are seen don't last forever, but things that are not seen are eternal. That's why we keep our minds on the things that cannot be seen.
*II Corinthians 4.18, CEV
Things seen are the earthy means of sacramental Presence and Action. The earthy carries the sign and is the means of unseen Reality. In a spatial metaphor, we could say that in sacramental experience Heaven meets Earth. This happens experientially only because Heaven and Earth are absolutely already One prior to experience.
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Yes, our relationship with and in Presence is simple, and we need not over-think it, making it seem complicated. Likewise, to appreciate the Sacred, we need to recall that this simple faith is a profound, unfathomable Mystery. To see a little more into the richness and greatness of Grace, we naturally choose to see and live a little more the unsearchable, inexpressible Living Truth.
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The Gospel of Thomas has the living Christ reminding us that Grace is everywhere. We need only look, only be receptive, only be attentive of mind and sensitive of heart.
Cut wood, I am there; lift stone, I am there.
*Alan Jacobs. The Essential Gnostic Gospels.
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What does it mean for you to live a sacramental life?