My last post may have “flown over” some of you readers. If one are going to be able to see how the Divider tries to corrupt our view of incarnational, sacramental living one does need to know what that kind of life is in the first place.
In the early church, the sacraments/mysteries (Communion, Baptism) was very close to daily life. Communion was not only a “symbolic act or an act of remembrance” but is was (still is) Christs real presence and the bread and wine gave real nutrition to people who could not afford these things on their own. I realized during my journeys to Rwanda and Burundi that this is still the case. The Eucharist (Communion) is the only time when some of the people there get to eat bread. The sacraments/mysteries are bound to a physical reality in a very real sense. This is why our view of the sacraments is affected if we see that bread is not given to all. Everyone does not have water. We see many people who are hungry. Many people can not see a doctor (connected with the sacrament of healing/unction). We witness this imbalance of grace (some have, some do not have) and then we think it is “Grace herself” that is the reason behind this imbalance! The truth is that the mysteries/sacraments of God are not affected by “how we view them”. It is us that are affected depending on how we approach them. And the Divider tries to have us not approach them at all (because he knows that the grace contained in the Sacraments will bind together the spiritual and the physical into a holistic reality, we become whole) or he tries to change our view of them so that we deny that they actually are the presence of the Lord in the world today.
The Church is the body of Christ. The Church is the distributor of the mysteries/sacraments. This should not be so hard to believe if we truly take that first sentence at face value. The Church is the body of Christ, and Christ is the Head of the Church. The Church as the body of Christ are the hands and feet of Him and therefore the distributor of grace, of true nutrition. The Church was founded when the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles, they were baptized by fire. They received the Holy Spirit and that presence of the Holy Spirit within them was incarnated in how they lived their lives. It was a transformation, or rather a returning, to a state of wholeness. (God breathed life into the physical world once again just like He breathed life into Adam “and man became a living being”) The Spirit inside of the apostles manifests in their physical body. The anointing (Chrism, Christ – the anointed One) is poured out on the apostles by the power of the Holy Spirit (tounges of fire) so that they can be the body of Christ (the anointed ones). The Spiritual and the physical comes together into a state of wholeness. This journey towards wholeness can be described with another word, namely “salvation” or “healing”. It is the same process in the sacraments. The physical and the spiritual becomes whole by the power of the Holy Spirit. We have true, whole life again.
So the mysteries/sacraments are essential in facing the Divider. The wholeness and healing that the sacraments/mysteries brings stands in holy opposition towards the division and suffering that the Divider wants to bring. The sacraments/mysteries are relevant because they both depict what true reality is and they are also the actual incarnation of that whole reality.
If a person says that they “have the Holy Spirit” but nothing in their physical life testifies about this (true virtues) then there is reason to be cautious. Example: If a person says that “money” has no power over him but he works 300 hours a month you need to be cautious. If a person says that he is a Christian but is not connected to a church (a body of believers) you need to be cautious. The presence of the Holy Spirit (as well as other spirits) is always manifested in physical reality (now we do not always have the ability to see this because our ability to discern is under attack and therefore we need to stay in contact with Head quarters. We need to listen and pray to discern the spirits) but that does not mean it is not true.
Christ body (the Church) is incarnated (meaning “into the flesh”) by the power of the Holy Spirit. He ascended into heaven (heaven being holistic reality) “to release” the kingdom of heaven (that very holistic reality) into the world that had turned away from the path of salvation or wholeness. The world had been divided and separated by the lord of division and our free will. The anointing (chrism, charisma) by the Holy Spirit into this world of death and separation brings forth life and wholeness again, and “man becomes a living being once again”. The tree of life, in the garden of Eden (Heaven) is once again accessible for us.
Christ first descended to the world, then He descended into the low places (hell). Then He rose from the dead and ascended into heaven so that we can do the same, by the power of the Holy Spirit (remaining in Him, being members of His body).