Saturday, June 5, 2010

Mystical Experiences

I've changed a lot over the years. No, I'm not referring to my graying hair (and lack of it), nor am I thinking about how my health has been changing for the better over the past several months. I'm slowing down in certain ways, all the while watching life speed by. But those aren't the changes I'm mulling over.

When I was younger, I felt like I had to explain God to everyone - how He works, why He does what He does, etc. For some reason I was obsessed with having to have all the answers, even if no one was buying in to them. But over the past few years, I've become more "mystical" in my musings. No, I'm not slipping into some cult-like fanaticism. I just thing that there are some things that take place that can only be God at work, with no explanation.

Let me share with you some examples. Take communion, or The Lord's Supper. In the tradition I am from, we believe that the elements represent the body and blood of our Lord Jesus. And we eat and drink in remembrance of Him. But we also think of The Lord's Supper as a "means of grace." So just what does happen when we consume the elements? I think it's something different for all of us. The same could be said of baptism. The ritual itself is sometimes referred to as "an outward sign of an inward cleansing." This rite, too, is a means of grace. Is it more than a sign? What about those people who have been released from demons and dependencies during the act of baptism? Isn't that somewhat mystical?

The other day I was musing about fellowship, when it hit me. Fellowship could also be viewed as a means of grace. While there are very practical benefits for being involved in a fellowship - accountability, friendship, learning, encouragement, etc - are not some of the benefits mystical in nature? Does not the Holy Spirit draw us it to fellowship? For those of us who are committed to a fellowship, there are perhaps benefits that can not be put in to words. Those who refuse and choose to go it alone in the faith (the thought of which is ludicrous) are missing something glorious, something wonderful, something...mystical. What do you think?

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