Mid-Week Faith Lift
January 18, 2023
White Stone Ceremony
Rev. Deb Hill-Davis
As you hold your white stone in your hand, know that you are starting with a clean slate. In this ceremony we are doing two things. We are choosing our white stones and we are also writing on the stone a new name, or word for ourselves. The white stones we are using are from between Hebron and Bethlehem, Israel. Just allow yourself to feel the energy of the stone you are holding.
“The white stone is an ancient ritual. Back in the time when Jesus was teaching and someone served time in prison or bondage of any kind, they were given a white stone when they were released. Each of us comes from bondage today, and we are being given a white stone to signify our freedom.
The ceremony comes from Revelations 2:17. In Revelations, John talks about the people being given a new name. ‘Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.’
This ear is not referring to an outer ear, but the ear of the soul, which is within each one of us. This refers to the ear that hears the “still, small voice” as it whispers to us. And we develop this inner listening quality by getting out of our head, or intellect, and connecting with our heart, through prayer and meditation. Prayer and meditation is just one way that we take the journey from our heads to our hearts.
Another tool that we use to overcome and correct the faults and shortcomings of our ego or intellectual nature is in the use of denial and affirmation. When we use this tool, we do so with the intention to train our mind or intellect to connect with our sense of the “I AM” or to our true Divine nature instead of erroneous beliefs and negative emotions. It is a discipline and it requires mindfulness for us to do this consistently. Charles Fillmore taught that the correct use of denial and affirmation would eventually “spiritualize the whole intellect.”
So the first part of the first verse tells us to listen, to develop the ear of the soul, to cultivate our awareness of our “ I AM” and to sit in the Silence and listen to Spirit.
And then the Bible verse says. ‘To everyone who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna.’ To all who see beyond appearances, I will give all that is needed to live. This is the first promise.
To everyone who conquers…..for us as followers of Spirit, it is not an outer war at all, but an inner war that requires our surrender….for us to be in the world but not of the world. And yet, how many times have we not surrendered to that sweet Spirit that calls us in every moment. But when we do surrender to that Spirit and go within, then and only then do we conquer. What a paradox: only in surrender is there victory. Not an outer surrender or an outer victory, but an inner surrender and inner victory, of letting go and letting God be God in and through me.
“In the days of wandering in the wilderness with Moses, the manna was that which God sent down each day. The people had only to go and collect it; they did not have to do anything else. So when we surrender to Spirit, then the promise is fulfilled, and we are given hidden manna that is not visible to the world. We are given the peace that passes all human understanding and we are given an entirely new source of energy and nourishment.
This hidden manna is derived from these higher levels of Being within us. It nourishes the soul first, then the body. It benefits the whole Being. In the Gospels, Jesus alludes to this very thing when he says to his disciples, (John 4:32) “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” This “hidden manna” is the vital life substance and energy of Spirit, directly assimilated into our entire being.
The second part of the promise is: “And I will give a white stone, and on the white stone is written a new name that no one knows except the one who receives it.”
“This is a time when it was believed that the people had overcome and had made their connections with the Divine, then they got a new name. That new name was written on a white stone. The name was given to them directly by God. No one else intervened, no one else was aware of this new name. It was a new nature, the freedom from bondage. When people had overcome, they were set free from their bondage and they received that stone.
In the Bible, there are many stories of name changes. For example, Saul, which metaphysically means personal will, was struck to his knees. He was blind for three days, which caused him to look within. He experienced a personal transformation, which changed him from persecuting Christians to helping them. He became the driving force behind the spread of Christianity and its survival in the Middle East. His trips to spread Christianity are a huge factor in the growth of the Christian movement. He was given a new name at the time of his awakening. Saul, (personal will) was transformed to Paul, which means enlightened will. He became the will that followed God’s will.
Abram as he grew in spiritual awareness became Abraham; Sarai became Sarah. The change in name always signifies a change in consciousness. In Biblical times, a name was a very sacred thing. Every name represented a quality. Every name in the Bible actually means a quality that was in the person who carries the name. In those times, you didn’t choose a name for your child because you liked the name; you chose it for whatever essence you saw in the child.
White metaphysically represents Joy, Victory and Purification.
In this white stone, or purified state of consciousness we know that the Father and I are one. In this white stone consciousness, we remember what God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM” and in this higher white stone consciousness, or Christ consciousness, within ourselves, we learn our New Name, an entirely new realization of our true “I AM”.
We conquer and receive the hidden manna, our full potential, by consciously surrendering, letting go of what no longer serves us---that which we released in the burning bowl last Sunday. And by continuing our spiritual journey of prayer and meditation, of denial and affirmation we remember, “I AM, God Is.”
Meditation Song: I am opening up in Sweet Surrender….
As we surrender and allow Spirit to speak to us in the Silence, we make space for unlimited possibilities to become manifest in our lives. In creating a space in our consciousness, we open ourselves to unlimited possibilities, unlimited potential.
And so I invite you to consciously invite the activity of Spirit-the Whole Spirit of God- into your heart and mind for the next few minutes. As you sit in the Silence with Spirit, perhaps there is a new career, a new title, a new quality or word that Spirit is pressing out through you. I invite you to give your ego a few minutes of rest and let that Divine Holy Self in you come through. Give yourself permission to know that you have a new quality, a new name.
You can close your eyes and just be with God, and then when you are ready, open your eyes and write on the stone whatever word, or name has come to you. <<<Allow time for writing the word or name/quality>>>
Let’s become still again for a moment and allow God to express through you and as you. I invite you to take the white stone in your hand and see it as a symbol of a new life. See it as a symbol of who you have become or who you are becoming, or of who you would like to become.
Feel the presence of God and know your Oneness with God. Know your “I AMness” with God. Feel that loving presence of God as it surrounds and supports you. Know that right now you are safe and secure. You are loved and supported by the Presence of God.
Behold, the Christ of God in each of us says, “I make all things new.” Again, the scripture we are using today is from Revelations 2:17 “Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. To everyone who conquers, I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give a white stone and on the white stone is written a new name that no one knows except the one who receives it.”
To those that overcame, who moved forward with faith, a new name was given. Today, we will meditate on our new name, for each one of us has overcome adversity. We have freed ourselves to live more fully, conscious of the activity of the whole spirit of God in every aspect of our lives and the creative life force. In this recognition, we free ourselves to live more fully, releasing ourselves from bondage, the prison of limiting thoughts about ourselves, each other and our world.
“Anytime you look at your white stone, realize that you have the gift of choice; the gift to live differently, to live a more fulfilling life, to begin anew, to connect with God and co-create with God.
John wrote in the book of Revelations that the white stone carries a new name, the spiritual identity and a deeper awareness of what God has planned for you. No one in the entire universe, except you and God, knows what this new name is. But it has come to you to be lived out, expressed and embodied as you. It is what God is calling you to be or do. It is a whisper from your soul that you are so much more than you have ever let come into expression.
And so thankfulness flows over us as we receive our new name or quality. Along with it comes the power and guidance to achieve all that we desire. This is our new name, our new consciousness. We see it, we decree it, we accept it. We are on the path to greater insights, and a deeper awareness of the Presence of Spirit as us. Behold all things are made new.
It is your Father’s good pleasure to give you this Kingdom, or consciousness. I invite you to accept this consciousness of ever increasing good in your live and to carry this white stone as a reminder of that promise.
Amen and So it is, and so we let it be.