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Sacramental Sedona

What is it about Sedona?


I spent the day hiking there yesterday. Sedona's beauty, like the beauty of most things, scorns verbal description. One can wonder and worship, but not describe.





I have been privileged to attend worship services at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome and Westminster Abbey in London. Both were lovely and majestic; yet neither could hold a candle to the sacred sublimity of hiking Sedona.





Yes, the wilderness can indeed be a house of worship, a temple not made by human hands. It's pillars are made of pine and rock, not polished marble. It's colors and light outshine the stained glass of Notre Dame. It's vaulted sky mocks even the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.


Sedona is sacramental, a place where God gives spiritual grace through the physical things He has made.





I have read some pastors and theologians who look down on "low-church" pastors like myself, for, they claim, we are not "sacramental" enough. I disagree. Certainly the Bible teaches us that earthly, physical things can be the vehicles of heavenly, spiritual grace. But I see nowhere in scripture that limits this to two sacraments, or five, or seven. And nature has at least as much claim to be a channel of God's truth and grace as anything:


Psalm 19:1-2


The heavens declare the glory of God;


    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.


Day after day they pour forth speech;


    night after night they reveal knowledge.


For me, the goal is to make ALL of life more sacramental: experiencing God more in more in the everyday things I experience in this world, whether that is a nice meal, a hug from a friend, a lovely song, or the beauty of nature.



After I hiked for a few hours, I made my way to a cave overlooking the scene below, and framing the colorful cliffs far away.



I sat down and rested. Then I took out a large apple and a bag of almonds and cashews. Sitting on the rock, enjoying the simple food and the sublime view, I worshipped.


I worshipped not through song or rite, but by simply enjoying the food and the beauty as gifts of God; channels of His grace; sacraments of His presence.

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Guest
Jan 25

Amen

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