Stitched Back Together
Many years ago I attended a Reunion (church family camp) as a Graceland Representative. Graceland University sends out representatives to Community of Christ camps throughout the summer in hopes of recruiting youth to their University. The last night of camp, I was asked to join the Sr. High youth at a campfire led by two other adults. As the campfire progressed you could start to feel the spirit moving in the moment. The adults asked the youth if any would like to be administered to.
Sacrament of Administration
Administration is a sacrament in the Community of Christ in which two ministers anoint the head of the individual with a small amount of oil and lay their hands on the persons head to pray for them. It is a prayer asking for the healing spirit of God to bless the individual in whatever way that person needs.
Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.
It's important to note that healing comes in many ways and does not always mean a miraculous physical healing will take place. In fact many times that is not the case. If you are interested in learning more about the other sacraments of the Community of Christ please click here.
The Rest of the Story
Two youth were prayed for and a third stepped forward to sit in the chair. As youth gathered around the two leaders motioned me to the middle asked me to administer to the girl. I was a newly ordained minister at the time making me a little nervous at the sudden request. But I moved with the spirit and allowed it to breathe in the moment. The girls head was anointed and I prayed for her. I remember feeling like these words were not might own as well as an overwhelming feeling of peace. She was moved to tears by the experience and shortly after the campfire was ended. It was in our camp closing service the next day where she stood up to share. She spoke of the night before and said, "When I was being prayed for, I felt like God was stitching my heart back together." She went onto say how she felt peace over her life. Her testimony confirmed to me God was moving in the moment and I just happened to be the vessel for which God used.
Moving Power of God
I think the experience I was apart of shows how God can move in powerful ways. When we intentionally allow God to breathe in our lives, we make room for God to love. This young girl had some sort of pain in her life. I do not know what that was but I do know that night she felt loved and in that love, the pain, shame, or guilt stood no chance. God's love trumps the human emotions we put on ourselves from the daily situations we find ourselves in. God is continually saying you are of worth and you are loved! We are all on various paths in this chaotic world, but wherever you find yourself please tell yourself that you have worth!
Missio Dei is a latin term referring to the "mission of God" or "sending of God". I believe the Mission of God is to love, to make whole, to provide hope, and to engage others in knowing there worth. Leading Congregations in Mission created this video which I want to share with you. I love how it says, "It's a moving mission of discovery, healing, and hope. An agenda of significance to all those who answer yes to the call to serve." I think this video will give a good understanding of how our spirituality cannot be separated from our daily lives. Its a never ending journey of discovery and serving those around us.
When have you needed your heart stitched back together?
How have you been a vessel for God's love?
When have you allowed God to breathe in your life?
How have you been a part of the mission of God?
This week let the spirit move through you in the places you find yourself. Do something nice for someone else that you do not know. You may just be the stitch that the person needs. Our small group is meeting this week, so those interested please submit the contact us and hopefully you can join us.
8/13/2018 08:21:28 pm
Eight or ten years ago a friend of my son was diagnosed with an advanced stage of stomach cancer. I had a very strong feeling I should call him and offer him the sacrament of Administration. I had known Rocky for several years, but knew nothing of his faith background and had no idea how the offer would be accepted. He was very receptive to the offer so I contacted elders in our congregation and we made arrangements to be at Rocky's house the night before his scheduled surgery. When I left his home after the administration and traveled over the bridge back to my house, I looked back over my shoulder and saw a rainbow that looked to me like it was ending right where Rocky's house was. It was a wonderful sign to me that whatever the outcome of his illness, he had received a blessing. In talking with him later I learned that evening after the administration was the first restful nights sleep he had had in several nights. Rocky lived a few weeks past the administration and during that time he developed a relationship with the elders who came to his home and had reconnected with his estranged family. Even though it wasn't the physical healing we all would have liked, he was definitely blessed. The sacrament of Administration is available to anyone who would desire it. One does not need to be a member of Community of Christ to avail themselves of it. If you are feeling overwhelmed by illness, major life changes or other stressful situations; please contact a Community of Christ congregation near you to talk to an elder regarding this sacrament.
8/14/2018 11:18:54 am
Sharon thank you so much courageously sharing your story! It sounds like it was a blessing for Rocky in his life. And you are right administration is available to anyone, anywhere. It can be powerful when we are vulnerable enough to allow others to into our pain. I know I am good at saying, "Oh I don't need that" missing out on the blessing that can come from the act of intentionally inviting God through others in my life. So if any of you are struggling or just going through a difficult situation please contact us and we would be happy to get someone immediately in touch with you, no matter where you live. It is important to note administrations are confidential and will not be shared with anyone else.
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The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Community of Christ. We believe individuals should be allowed to have their own opinions and be at different places in their faith journey.
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