Living Waters

Living Waters at Good Shepherd Hayesville, NC

Today’s Lenten readings are about living, healing waters and Jesus’ power to heal a man who had been ill for 38 years. Lenten scriptures and Lenten practice promote healing.
When I read Ezekiel and the graphic description of the healing waters which flow from the Temple, my mind’s eye goes to the Healing Waters fountain that flows forth in front of Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in Hayesville, NC. Our Order of St. Luke chapter is named the River of Healing Chapter and aptly so as healing waters flow forth in and from the church community. Continue reading

What about Healing Miracles Today?

The Living One Flaring Forth

As I have read Bishop Spong over the past few years, he has challenged me to rethink some basic beliefs and assumptions. My own exploration of science and astronomy led me to conclude that God cannot be up there and out there in a universe with billions of galaxies each with billions of stars. Immediately, I heard, “The kin-dom of God is among you. Teilhard de Chardin and others have helped me understand that Christ is the deepest reality within me and that the Cosmic Christ is drawing creation to completion.

This brief excerpt from Spong fills in some more of the details:

If human life, as Darwin suggested and as modern science keeps verifying, is the product of millions of years of evolutionary history, then none of these theological formulas [paradise, the fall, redemption] remain valid. Without an original, perfect and complete creation, there could never have been a fall from perfection, not even metaphorically. Original sin has thus got to go. Without that fall from perfection there was no need for God’s rescue and no reason for Jesus to come to our aid. The idea of God as the punishing parent organizes religious life on the basis of the childlike and primitive motifs of reward and punishment. The cross understood as the place where Jesus paid our debt to this vengeful God becomes not just nonsensical, but it also serves to twist human life with guilt in order to make this system of thought believable. That is why Christian worship seems to require the constant denigration of human life. Christian liturgies constantly beg God “to have mercy.” Our hymns sing of God’s amazing grace, but the only reason God’s grace is amazing is that it “saved a wretch like me.” This theology assumes that God is an external being, living somewhere above the sky, whose chief occupations are two: first to keep the record books up to date on our behavior, thus serving as the basis on which we will be judged; and second to be ready to come to our aid in miraculous ways either to establish the divine order or in answer to our prayers. Darwin was only one part of the explosion of knowledge that rendered these ideas not only irrelevant, but unbelievable. Copernicus and Galileo had destroyed God’s dwelling place above the sky by introducing us to the vastness of space, suddenly but not coincidentally rendering this God homeless. Then Isaac Newton discovered the mathematically precise and immutable laws by which the universe is governed, leaving little room in it for either miracle or magic, which rendered the miracle-working deity unemployed. ( Continue reading

Peace, Healing, and the Creator

[Last night—June 29, 2007—I led the meditation at the healing service at Good shepherd Church in Hayesville, NC where I am engaged in healing ministry. I began the Soaking Prayer Service by reading from Daniel 3 adapted to reflect glaciers and Alaskan wildlife.}

Quaker Thomas R. Kelly wrote:

Do we live in the steady peace of God, a peace down at the very depths of our souls. . . ? It is a life that is freed from strain and anxiety and hurry, for something of the Cosmic Presence of God becomes ours.

This is the Cosmic Presence the three men in Daniel sing about amid the fires of travail. It is the Cosmic Presence which sustains us.

I do not know about you but when I read that God rested on the seventh day, I tend to think of creation as a one-time event. But that is not the case. All life and the universe flared forth from the Creator some 14 billion years ago.  And it is still flaring forth.

As I stood on the ice of the Meade Glacier near Skagway, Alaska, I stopped and looked. It was a graced moment. I was filled with a sense of wonder and awe. This was not an inert, dead piece of ice. It was a living thing ever changing. Walking about the glacier we found water roaring down and creating deep crevasses. The water rumbled. Maybe that is the way justice roars down. Creation is groaning to its fulfillment. The glacier itself, filled with ice worms, expands and contracts, freezes and melts. It has carved deep gorges as it dislodged huge boulders which now lay on its surface. I was filled with a sense of the power and the Cosmic Presence of God.

Glaciers, magnificent snow-capped mountains, a grizzly with her two cubs, a wolf, moose, elk, caribou, golden and bald eagles soaring and Denali—Mt. McKinley—rising 20,320 feet into a cloud laced blue sky—these all immersed me in the power and presence of God.

Denali--Mount McKinley 20,320 feet Click for bigger picture of Great One c. J. P. Mahon, 2010

I did not seemed to need to follow my usual daily practice of scripture reading and reflection. I was immersed in God’s primary revelation—creation.

Since I have returned I am seeing life differently. I delight in walking in the power and presence of God daily. I am living in the steady peace of God. Peripheral things seem to matter less.

Peace—shalom, salaam—health, well-being. Wholeness is ours because the Creator is still alive and at work. As Thomas Kelly says, “this is an abiding, enduring peace which never fails.” God is making all things new. God is healing us and making us whole. God is gifting us with peace, with shalom. God is wiping away every tear.

In the words of Julian of Norwich, “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.”