Friday, May 31, 2013

Symbols in Prayer and Worship

Recently I was in a discussion group and the subject of anointing oil was mentioned. What follows are some thoughts I shared in that discussion.

Oil is a symbol of healing and the Holy Spirit. Symbols in prayer and worship, when properly used, are very important and valuable. They inspire faith and encourage devotion. Sadly, many of our churches have removed nearly all use of symbols. It is becoming increasingly common to see sanctuaries without even a cross. Sigh.

Use of symbols in worship is God's idea. From the minute details of the tabernacle to the scenes of heaven in the book of Revelation symbols abound. If they do nothing for you, fine, but for others the are essential. For me, a cross on a wall is more inspiring that a blank wall.

The importance and value of symbols is not in what they are, but in what they represent.

For example, my most valuable possession in all the world is a symbol: my wedding ring. It is very simple and common and contains only about $25 worth of gold, but what it represents is priceless. For some, a wedding ring is means nothing and may not even be worn at all. But for my wife an me, our rings hold the utmost value. She has never - even for a second - had her wedding ring off since I place it on her finger nearly 38 years ago. Mine has not been off in over 36 years (my job at the time required that I remove it for safety's sake.) Mere symbols, yes, but with great value and purpose.

Friday, May 3, 2013

At Home in Grace

Thursday, May 2, 2013


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