First I want to share with you how I came up with this topic. When I figured out that I had two talks to give in a row here, I came up with one immediate topic, but that’s the one for next week. The talk today came about because I was stumped. And when I’m stumped, I go to the bowl where I keep my angel cards, I take a deep breath, reach in & choose a card. When the card read “purpose,” I thought aha! Perfect! Then came the time to write the talk & I was stumped once again. I couldn’t say for certain I’ve lived my life “on purpose” for about ¾ of it. But here I am & here we are, so here we go…
Let me ask the $64,000 question first: just what is your purpose for being alive on this planet today? Do you have an idea? Any ideas? If you had to finish the sentence: “The purpose of MY life is…” what would your next words be? It’s an easy question with a difficult answer.
The next source I checked for help was the dictionary. Purpose is both a noun & a verb. This doesn’t amaze me, my NAME is also a noun & a verb, after all.
“the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists. (As in the purpose of a hammer is to nail.)
The verb Purpose tells me:
“To have as one’s intention or objective.”
(As in “I purpose to tell you about this word this morning.”) Boy, that sounds awkward, doesn’t it? I think we use this word as a noun because of that. But what if you turned it into a verb? What would you purpose to do with the rest of your day? Take it out a little farther: what would you purpose to do with your very life?
Let’s look at what this means to you. When you woke this morning, what was your first purpose? I mean after the usual routine of putting yourself together to enjoy the day. I’m glad you purposed to come to Unity of Rehoboth Beach! But what else?
We all need an “overall purpose” for living. Hopefully, we get to take that beyond making enough money to care for our basic needs. Hopefully we can extend our purpose to include God. And since we all have that God-spark within us, it will become important at one moment to search for that spark, interview (inner-view) its PURPOSE and express that outwardly with & in our lives.
Living “on purpose” isn’t easy. It means not being reactive to a lot of what is going on out there and in here. It means not deceiving yourself about your motives & this kind of honesty might be like taking an emery board to file you’re your conscience.
Having a purpose would seem to make it a lot easier to live. We have probably all been rootless at times in life, sitting on our hands, driven neither to improvement OR failure in the same moment! At these times I say to myself, “I really want to do this, but I don’t feel like doing anything.” There was a time when, if the question came up of what to do when I didn’t feel like doing, I just turned on the TV to avoid it. Things got strange for me when my ex took the TV we had & I figured that was the last thing I wanted to spend money on. I will say that was when I started really paying attention to my life. Up until then I hadn’t realized how much the programs were programming ME.
I’ve sat more than once & asked God to take these hands & put them in service, Without sounding holier-than-thou, what worked for me was to ask how I could best serve God. I figured it was safe to do that. Who’d know better what I was to do with them?
When we make a conscious decision to serve, Life can go many ways. We serve ourselves with lively consumerism, filling in time with various pursuits and hobbies. We serve our families and friends with good cheer in very many ways, directly with support and advice, or indirectly through just being in their energy field. If you’re like me, you have many people you’ve touched or who have touched you with whom you no longer are in touch. But the experience of sharing time & laughter has not been forgotten. It can rise in the mind like a smell of the beach thru an open window, evocative and holy. We experience again the richness of those moments with friends & family.
Whether you ask or not, God gives us a purpose. God gives us the curiosity to go looking for it. God also gives us the will, heart and mind to discover it, pursue it, make a success of it, reveal it to the many, practice it, and exist in joy while accomplishing it. When we listen to our soul (which is that God-spark I mentioned earlier), we can find out how to accomplish all of the above with grace. Rick Warren, in The Purpose-Driven Life, reminds us that “Even if your parents didn’t plan on you, God did.”
My former minister, Cherie, at First Church Unity in Nashville opened many a talk with this quote from Jeremiah:
“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb.”
I really like that verse: I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. While I was sometimes lost, this implied a meta-knowingness; God knew my name before I got here. It implies I was spoken into being, like the logos of the world, the light, the planets, the creatures and all the materials of this universe. I presume the same knowingness back, except for me, it’s in the possessive tense: I use the name of God to cover a lot of situations. So what does God want of me? And which me? The massage therapist, the mother, the friend? In Isaiah 44:2, we find more or less the same phrasing: “I am your Creator. You were in my care even before you were born.”
I think God wants me to live in divinity. I think God wants me to live out divinity. I think God wants me to express that beautiful sparkle of my soul for all to see. God has spent time tuning me in, like a radio dial by directing me from a job to a career to a calling. My purpose for living changed with each relationship, each job, each growth opportunity, if I lingered long enough in the moment to recognize it.
Living in divinity is not hard work, it’s heart work. If time is the illusion Einstein & some others say it is, then I’m living in a no-time scenario and it’s taking me one long time to live it out!
Step aside from time for a moment. Step into that place where time ceases to exist. If you do it right, you’ll find you’re standing in your heart-space. What’s in there? When I studied Chinese medicine, I learned the heart is the place of long-term memory storage. Once in a guided meditation, I was asked to take a walk to my heart. When I arrived, I was looking at a small building with a Dutch door. Only the top half was open. When I peered in, there was a window facing east overlooking the ocean. And there was a cardboard cutout of my mother sitting in a rocker. In my life, she never sat in a rocking chair. It was in that moment I understood how much work I needed to do to heal my relationships. And since Mom was passed, the only way I could do that was to go into my heart to find her, bring her back into life, forgive her, and, most significantly, ask her to forgive me. It always works both ways.
How will you discover your purpose? In an inspired moment, I once wrote, “My ship may not have come in, but there’s a whole lotta rowboats bobbing at the pier.”
How many chances for change have you been offered in your life? What have you accomplished with them? What will you accomplish with the next offering? This is a good time to think about being on purpose, when so much of the world seems to be random, haphazard and frenetic as it unfolds. Again, I urge you to take some moments to look into your heart. What is it telling you to do?
You may have to dial down some other organs to hear it – like a hungry stomach, or a restless brain wanting to check for new text message…I’m here to tell you it will be worth it.
Discovering your purpose serves all you do. Trusting the power you find in following that uplevels your life enormously. That “do what you love, the money will follow” really works. What is it you love? What gives you energy instead of taking it?
Start where you are. Really, where else is there? There’s always going to be something speaking up in a whine that simply translates down to you can’t get there from here. Yes, you can. You can’t fail if you’re moving forward. You can get lost in discovering what you want most to find, and live there happily ever after. Real life is where the learning is. When you infuse your life with what you believe to be God’s purpose for you, you’ve blended all the right ingredients for satisfaction.
Tama Kieves, author of This Time I Dance and Inspired And Unstoppable says: “We are not ridiculous or fragile for believing in love, strength and exhilarating possibilities. It’s not crazy to dedicate ourselves to a life that feels true, empowering, and exciting. It’s just plain crazy not to.”
Look deep within for your purpose. Search out the places where it might be hiding. Maybe leave some food near where it lives to coax it into the light. Ask for God’s help. Ask for God’s plan to be made plain to you. And then stay open to the thought that this is just how easy it can be accomplished. Sometimes the tried and true holds nothing new. What you need is that which lights the God-spark up and makes you glow with anticipation, what moves you from the inside, even in a small way because, think about it, just one match can light the fireworks display.
When you ask the questions, life will give you the answers. I want to leave now you with a poem by Mark Nepo called “The Appointment”
What if, on the first sunny day, / On your way to work, a colorful bird / Sweeps in front of you down a / Street you’ve never heard of.
You might pause and smile, / A sweet beginning to your day.
Or you might step into that street / And realize there are many ways to work.
You might sense the bird knows some / Thing you don’t and wander after.
You might hesitate when the bird turns down an alley. / For now there is a tension: is what the bird knows worth being late?
You might go another block or two / thinking you can have it both ways. / But soon you arrive at the edge/ of all your plans.
The bird circles back for you / and you must decide which / appointment you were / born to keep.
Good Morning Beloved!
Back in PA, fishing season started, so here’s a joke for you….
A man was stopped by a game warden recently leaving a river well known for its fishing with two ice chests of fish.
The game warden asked the man, “Do you have a license to catch those fish? You are going to have to pay a huge fine if you do not have a license.”
“No, my friend, I do not have a license. These are my pet fish.”
“Yep. Every night I take these fish down to the river and let ’em swim’ round for a while. Then I whistle and they jump right back into this ice chest and I take ’em home.”
“That’s a bunch of stuff! Fish can’t do that!”
The man looked at the game warden for a moment and then said, “It’s the truth. I’ll show you. It really works.”
“Okay, I’ve GOT to see this!”
The man poured the fish into the river and stood and waited. After several minutes, the game warden turned to him and said, “Well?”
“Well, what?” said the man.
“When are you going to call them back?”
“Call who back?”
April: the power is Judgment/Wisdom
The topic or theme for April is Discover A Positive Attitude
Affirmation: I am an open channel through which the healing, prospering currents of God’s life, power and joy are now flowing
We are combining a few ideas this week, as I wish to honor my plan to discuss some aspect of prosperity anwith one of the 12 powers each month.
And, it happens that Earth day is upon us this week also, so, I’ll throw that in for good measure.
You may ask, why am I doing them all in one day when there is another Sunday this month? The response is, I will not be here. You may all bless me as I journey to The Magical World of Harry Potter next Sunday for a week of fun with two of my dear friends from PA. We are all Harry Potter fans and have dreamed of this trip since the beginning of the plans for the park. I am very sure I will be discovering a positive attitude as I visit the world of fantasy with two of my best friends!
And you will be blessed with the musings of Carol Borsello next week. I thank her profoundly. I know you will be blessed by her insight and wisdom.
So, Prosperity, wisdom and Earth Day. What can we do with this?
Actually, I think a lot. There is much wisdom in taking care of Mother Earth. And in doing so, we certainly help to keep our positive attitude! Just recall the attitude change you experience just stepping out into nature.
“One of the most exciting and beneficial things,” according to Elisabet Sahtouris, an internationally known evolution biologist, that happened to humanity in the past century were physicists’ recognition that “the universe is more like a great thought than like a great machine” and astronauts lifting far enough from Earth to see, feel and show us how very much alive our planet is. Those events led to a wonderful sea of change from the older – and rather depressing – scientific story of a non-living material universe accidentally giving rise to all within it, devoid of meaning or purpose.
The new view, revealing a conscious universe and a living Earth in which we are co-creators, takes us out of fatalistic victimhood to becoming consciously active agents of our destiny! It lifts the fog of our self-image as consumers of stuff, giving us awesome rights and responsibilities to live out our full co-creative humanity.”
Interesting stuff…she sounds like a Unitic!
When I think of wisdom and Mother Earth together, I think of our Native American brothers and sisters. They seem to have an innate knowing when it comes to caring for the Earth, for nature. And the idea that we live as a part of a conscious universe and a living Earth, I believe, is what the Native Americans believed and lived.
Just listen to the 10 Indian Commandments:
1. The Earth is our Mother, care for her.
2. Honor all your relations,
3. Open your heart and soul to the Great Spirit.
4. All life is sacred, treat all beings with respect.
5. Take from the earth what is needed, nothing more.
6. Do what needs to be done for the good of all.
7. Give constant thanks to the Great Spirit for each and every day.
8. Speak the truth, but only for the good in others.
9. Follow the rhythms of nature.
10. Enjoy life’s journey, but leave not tracks.
Almost every one of these commandments in one way or another have reference to taking care of and respect for, nature. One need not think deeply to find a connection.
Let’s look at wisdom for a minute…
Webster defines wisdom as the ability to discern inner qualities and relationships, a wise attitude or course of action. Wisdom is not to be confused with knowledge for “Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers” according to Lord Alfred Tennyson
Webster defines judgment as the process of forming an opinion by discerning and comparing.
Charles Fillmore used these two words, wisdom & judgment, interchangeably when describing this deep inner power, one of our 12 powers. But we, in our human mind often do more comparing than discerning which can lead to condemnation. When we attach a condemnation thought to this power, we must remember that we experience the results of those judgments.
The keyword in both definitions is discernment. This power is how we discern good from bad, but only for ourselves. When we try to discern what is right or wrong for someone else, or when we condemn someone else, we are not using “right judgment.” Right judgment is only what is right for us personally.
Applying judgment/wisdom to the idea of prosperity is also a discernment process. When life is not showing up the way we would like we must ask ourselves, “Am I using ‘right judgment,’ and am I accessing divine wisdom within me to meet this prosperity challenge?”
Sometimes we think prosperity is only about finances or money. This is very limited wisdom. Prosperity shows up in many different forms: health, love, joy and peace. And if we judge money as the only form of prosperity, we shut off the flow to these other forms.
So, let’s apply wisdom and prosperity to the Mother EARTH.
We already are aware that prosperity, abundance is more, much more than financial security. Applying wisdom and prosperity to the Earth is easy then.
We thank the Earth for her bounty. Without it, we would not be fed, or clothed. No water to replenish our bodies of the moisture it needs.
Without the Earth we would not have the shelter we need from cold and wind, and rain and snow and heat.
Humans alone, as co-creators with God, can think consciously, make choices, and determine the direction their lives will take. All other forms of life simply follow instinct. Only we can think for ourselves and say “I will” or “I won’t.”
We are charged to use this ability to think, reason and choose wisely to establish an orderly growth for ourselves as God’s highest creations.
And, as we are told in Genesis, to have dominion over the earth and its inhabitants, that means we are to take care of all of it. Having dominion does not mean destroying the air we breathe or contaminating the rivers and oceans. And it certainly doesn’t mean to use and abuse the other life on, in and through the planet.
Where would we be without the earth, sustained to its fullest? How is it wise to destroy the very things that sustain us?
We need the earth to live. We need the air. We need the water. We need the diversity. We need nature to save us from ourselves!
David Suzuki said in The Sacred Balance: Rediscovering Our Place in Nature;
“Every breath is a sacrament, an affirmation of our connection with all other living things, a renewal of our link with our ancestors and a contribution to generations yet to come. Our breath is a part of life’s breath, the ocean of air that envelopes the earth.”
One of the reasons I love the song, “Breathe,” we have been listening to at the beginning of Service.
I truly believe everything we need to live, to cure disease, to survive is right here for us to find. Kind of like finding our inner Divinity.
As a Star Trek fan, I always remember one of the original episodes with Captain Kirk being transported to this isolated planet by some “higher” beings along with another life form, kind of lizard like. They were to ‘entertain’ these ‘higher beings’ by fighting to the death.
What I always remembered about it, though, was the instructions they were given; “Everything you need is right here, you just have to find it, figure it out.”
Of course Captain Kirk did figure out a way to overcome, without killing I might add, the adversary he was given and in turn, taught the ‘higher beings’ a lesson in compassion and the need to NOT have to kill.
“Intelligence without wisdom is fruitless and wisdom without compassion is simply not wise.” A quote from and unknown writer.
A few lessons we can all learn.
Emily Cady, a major author in Unity, wrote in Lessons in Truth: “All the wisdom and intelligence that we see in the universe is God. Wisdom is projected through the visible form. God as infinite wisdom lies within every human being, waiting to be lead forth into manifestation. This is true education.”
There is a natural flow within our lives, and as soon as we can tune into that frequency that is both around us in nature and within us spiritually, the closer we will be to peace. Our world is filled with clutter, noise, and distraction—things that contribute to feelings of disharmony.
Sometimes we have to learn to pull away and get back to what is simple, basic, and easy. There are times we have to pick up the pace, but turning to Spirit within keeps us balanced psychologically, emotionally, socially, and physically.
Nature helps us do that.
Richard Mabey said, “To be without trees would, in the most literal way, to be without our roots.” Those roots help us to stay connected to Spirit. Nature helps to GROUND us!
Here’s a story about wisdom, compassion and abundance: By Stephanie Pifer-Stone
The other day, while waiting in line at the grocery store, I began reflecting on the nice lunch I had earlier with a new friend. During our conversation, we talked about how good it feels to help other people, especially when you are feeling down about yourself. How uplifting it is to do something for someone else and how it takes you out of your own drama!
A woman about my age was behind me in line. She had one can of cake frosting and was counting a handful of change to pay for it. She asked, “Have you ever been unemployed? I am counting this ahead of time so I won’t be embarrassed at the checkout stand.” I told her, “Yes, I have been there.” She asked what I did for a living now. I told her my husband and I were self-employed, and that even though money was still a bit tight, it does get better. I looked more closely at her. She was clean, but her clothes were old. Her eyes were red and her face was drawn, from worry, I assumed.
I very much remember counting the items in my cart and mentally calculating the total so I wouldn’t be embarrassed at the checkout by not having enough money. I often had to put some items back on the shelf.
All this lady wanted was a can of frosting. I could do that for her, but I wondered, how do I do it and not embarrass her? I quietly picked up the can and placed it on my side of the separator on the belt. When she objected, I told her that someone nice just bought me lunch, and now it was my turn, so please don’t deny me that. She was stunned, and tears welled up in her already red eyes.
The cashier saw what was happening. She was very subtle about the transaction and slid the frosting into a bag, giving it to the other customer and putting my items in my bag. It was all so sweet; it made my heart swell to be a part of it. All for the bargain price of $1.35. It made that lady’s day that someone cared. It didn’t matter if she was frosting cupcakes for her granddaughter or going to eat it with a spoon. It did me good to do it!
It made me think, wouldn’t it be a nice world if, when we go to the grocery store and don’t have enough money that those who do would help out? Then when things were better for us, we could do that for others. What if everything worked that way?
I remembered my favorite neighbor and what she did for us during our rough times. My husband and I have three critters that depend on us—two beautiful dogs, Izzy and Dharma, and Larry the parakeet. We opened the front door one day to find a huge bag of dog food and a big canister of parakeet food courtesy of our neighbor Becky. She knew we were struggling and wanted to help. When I went to thank her, she reminded me of a time when she lost her job, and we brought her groceries. I had forgotten about that, but she hadn’t.
Maybe this tough economy is forming a bond of support throughout the community … neighbor helping neighbor and stranger helping another stranger. Maybe it is already a wonderful world, and we just have to open our eyes to it.
My eyes are open. Are yours?
The common question we need to ask is, “Where did I meet God today? And where did I miss God?”
These questions can be applied to Mother Nature as surely as the person behind you in the grocery store! And many other places.
Let me end with an Apache Blessing for your day:
May the sun bring you new energy by day.
May the moon softly restore you by night.
May the rain wash away your worries.
May the breeze blow new strength into your being.
May you walk gently through the world and know its beauty all the days of your life.
Let’s take those words into meditation…
Good morning Beloved!
Here’s some traditional Christian humor for you today….I say traditional because in Unity there is no Satan.
Jesus and Satan were having an on-going argument about who was better on the computer. They had been going at it for days, and frankly God was tired of hearing all the bickering.
Finally fed up, God said, ‘THAT’S IT! I have had enough. I am going to set up a test that will run for two hours, and from those results, I will judge who does the better job.’
So Satan and Jesus sat down at the keyboards and typed away.
They moused. They faxed. They e-mailed. They e-mailed with attachments. They downloaded. They did spreadsheets. They wrote reports. They created labels and cards. They created charts and graphs.
They did some genealogy reports. They did every job known to man.
Jesus worked with heavenly efficiency and Satan was faster than hell.
Then, ten minutes before their time was up, lightning suddenly flashed across the sky, thunder rolled, rain poured, and, of course, the power went off.
Satan stared at his blank screen and screamed every curse word known in the underworld.
Jesus just sighed.
Finally the electricity came back on, and each of them restarted their computers. Satan started searching frantically, screaming:
‘It’s gone! It’s all GONE! ‘I lost everything when the power went out!’
Meanwhile, Jesus quietly started printing out all of his files from the past two hours of work.
Satan observed this and became irate.
‘Wait!’ he screamed. ‘That’s not fair! He cheated! How come he has all his work and I don’t have any?’
God just shrugged and said, PAUSE
Wait for it…..PAUSE
Ask the Rev…
What I’d like to do with this time is respond to some questions, and also give you an idea of what we, myself and the Steering Committee have been thinking regarding Unity of Rehoboth Beach.
So, the questions:
- I had a series of questions from someone who was watching the movie, Moses, Easter Sunday. Did God really put every first born son to death? Was that just a fear thing put in by man?Keep in mind, God didn’t do it. God is only and ALL good. Humans do many things in the name of God when it is really fear that is the motivation.All the plagues issued “By God” through Moses, were they really thoughts help in mind, they produce after their kind. Every time Pharaoh cursed Moses and the Israelites, it came back to haunt him.And, the plagues could have been the result of events in nature. Science has been looking at them and they have found some interesting things to counter the written words.
- So, did this really happen? Does it matter? The lesson was served by the story. And who are the stories written for? The Israelites. The Hebrew Bible is a way of telling them about their history, about how they got there. Not unlike many of the other culture’s stories.The important thing is we have an opportunity to learn from the history and lessons brought forth in the stories.
- It seems the God was more physically present in those days; ex. Burning bush.We often don’t ‘see’ the miracles in our everyday lives. And we don’t attribute Spirit talking to us in the messages we receive, and yet, there they are. Everyday miracles. Messages from music, friends, nature…we might want to be more PRESENT so we can experience the messages from Spirit and experience the miracles.
- Why were the Israelites the “chosen ones?”
These stories are written for the Israelites, so, of course THEY are the chosen ones. In other cultures, when you look at their stories, they are the ones who are the chosen ones. The stories are written for those particular people.
- How can we be successful with our affirmations when we don’t feel it when we say it?When we say affirmations, especially when we find one that really resonates with us, if we repeat them we are rewiring our brain. We may not believe that affirmation on a physical level at the time, but we rewire our brain and eventually, we CAN believe it.Just think about our co-founder Myrtle Fillmore. She talked to her body and cells, sending healing love and affirmed her health and wholeness, eventually recovering from TB.
- So, it behooves us to say the affirmations, to even write our own for the things we wish to work on, and we can see a difference, and even FEEL a difference.
- How does one hold onto a spiritual outlook when there is a betrayal from a loved one?It’s interesting, not long after I read this question as I was preparing for today, I came across a video from Oprah discussing this with Marianne Williamson. Oprah was asking the question, apparently she had been betrayed by someone and seemed very hurt and taken aback by it.Marianne Williamson simply said, pray for them. She said to every day for 30 days, pray for the one who betrayed you. Your choice.
- Or maybe you just have to change your relationship with them, knowing that, just maybe they are not on the same vibration as you and you are now aware of that, and so, can protect yourself from any harm they may try to send your way.
- Maye you will have to distance yourself from the person. Sometimes, even when we have forgiven someone, we no longer wish or need to be associated with them. Different energies…
- And I agree, pray for them. But also, I would say, pray from yourself, to forgive. What you do beyond that would then be up to you. You may ask to talk with the person about what happened. Maybe there was some sort of misunderstanding.
- Here’s a question I came across that I have had asked before. It was asked of Deepak Chopra –Question: Is it better to try to rid yourself of ego, or to work on transforming ego into just another part of our being?Response: Trying to get rid of your ego doesn’t work, because the only part of you that can try to do something is your ego, and anything it tries to do only exercises and strengthens itself. As consciousness become self-aware, or wakes up, it knows its true self as unchanging. It loses the sense of separation, and fear. That feeling of separation is the seed of the ego, and as that dissipates through self-realization, the ego is automatically transformed.Looking to the future –
- The Steering Committee and I have been discussing what we would like to see in the future. But we also want to know what you would like to see in the future.
- That said, it may not be feasible to do what every single person wants to see. But we do want to hear what you would like.
- For example, I was approached shortly after we started our Sunday Celebration Service back in August, about doing the Peace Song and having our circle. It was something that I wanted to do also, but I also wanted to make sure the congregation was ready to do the Peace Song as it is done in many Unity Centers and churches.
Eventually, we felt we were ready to try it and we worked it in.
Another example is some people enjoy hugs & handshakes, and some do not. Some think more music is needed.
We each have things that we would like to see from our experiences in other Unity services.
Each suggestion will be considered and see if it would fit into the service we are trying to put together.
- Many, many years ago I took a Unity class called The 4-T. It was regarding tithing, and abundance—I’m sure you’ve heard of it. I was wondering if we could have something like that in the future. I would even be willing to facilitate since all the info is in a book and easy to follow. It made a huge difference in my life and I made great friends during that time.We wish to provide classes along with the Sunday Celebration Service to enhance and facilitate your Spiritual Growth. So, I would hope you will let me know of any suggestions or ideas for classes.Please use the yellow card to indicate your interest in a Prosperity class or to list your suggestions.Keep in mind we do have two classes on-going now that the Thursday evening class has resumed. The other is Tuesday afternoons. More information about them can be found at the metaphysical food for thought website listed on your insert.
- We are also looking into a membership process. We will let you know more about that as we finalize the process.
Again, it would be helpful if you would indicate on your yellow card if that would interest you.
- A question was asked about having service outside sometime. I think that is a great idea and we will look into the logistics of that. Not sure how feasible it is but we’ll check it out.
- Another question about placing Prayer Request before the congregation was asked. That gets into privacy issues. While I was at Unity of Frederick, we did place first names into prayer during the meditation. At Unity of Harrisburg, we prayed over the requests. Let me think about how we could handle this.
- Please keep in mind that transparency is very important to our integrity as a Spiritual entity. I have asked the Steering Committee to keep that in mind in all dealings with you and with myself. And I ask you to do the same.
It is very important to come directly to me or the Committee if there is anything that you wish to convey to us. Just because we are a Spiritual Community, I am not so naive as to believe that we are perfect. Our humanist can show at any time if we let egos get in the way.
So, talk with me about anything that concerns you. Please.
I have seen how a church community can be torn apart with triangulation and discontent.
And, I also know that we are all looking for the spiritual community that feeds us. I pray Unity of Rehoboth Beach is that place for you. But if it is not, please know that I hope you do find that place, because it is so very important to each and every one of us to find that peace beyond all understanding.
Good Morning Beloved!
Little Johnny and his family were having Sunday dinner at his grandmother’s house. Everyone was seated around the table as the food was being served.
When Little Johnny received his plate, he started eating right away.
‘Johnny! Please wait until we say our prayer.’ said his mother.
‘I don’t need to,’ the boy replied.
‘Of course, you do,’ his mother insisted. ‘We always say a prayer before eating at our house.’
‘That’s at our house,’ Johnny explained. ‘But this is Grandma’s house and she knows how to cook!’
Let’s take a look at this month’s affirmations, on the little slip inside your bulletin.
Inner Peace: I choose to live with a peaceful heart.
Guidance: God guides me to my highest good.
Healing: I partner with God in caring for my body temple.
Prosperity: I am swimming in a sea of prosperity.
World Peace: Peace in my soul contributes to peace in the world.
Take it along with you and place it somewhere you can see them and repeat them often. You will be surprised how affective it can be.
So, last week we looked at Palm Sunday and related the journey that Jesus took to the Hero’s journey.
Today, let’s look at what has been happening this “Holy” week.
Jesus has entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, after having performed some healing miracles AND raising Lazarus from the dead. So, we can understand somewhat why His entry is praised with palms and cloaks on His path and the singing of Hosanna.
The week is filled with His lessons, using parables to teach the people and His disciples. We will discuss the parables later through the year.
So how does He get the Jewish leaders so upset? Well, they do not understand His reference to The Kingdom of Heaven and what that means. Even His disciples do not understand, “If you have ears to hear…”
The Sadducees and Pharisees are jealous and afraid of losing their status. Metaphysically they represent someone who observes the letter of the law but not its spirit. To Jesus they were hypocrites.
Then, Jesus goes to the Temple and is angered by the money changers. Money changers represent, metaphysically, dishonest thoughts of materialism and greed. Our consciousness must be cleansed of these thoughts if the body temple is to be kept pure and holy. Remember, the Temple was to be a ‘House of Prayer.’ SO the money changers had to be cleared from the temple.
Jesus also curses a fig tree. What is the significance of that? Well, the tree was in full leaf. That usually means, for fig trees, that there should have been figs, since the figs come before the leaves. No one knows why there weren’t any. Maybe they were already eaten by other passersby.
Is it possible that Jesus used the fig tree as a teaching moment? Could He be saying, “You know how to produce figs, so why aren’t you?” In the same respect, “You know these things, these lessons, so why aren’t you doing them? Why aren’t you putting feet to your prayers?”
That’s our 5th Principle…
Several times the Pharisees and Sadducees try to trick Him in the Temple and elsewhere. The fact that they could not, just angered them more, all leading up to the betrayal.
This was a busy week for Jesus. He gave the “Give to Caesar what is his and to God what is God’s” lesson. What is He saying here? That there are things in the physical, material world that belong there and that there are “Spiritual” things that belong to God, to Spirit. As we move along on our Spiritual Journey, we are more able to discern what is “Caesar’s” and what is God’s. That discernment allows us a more peaceful, joyful life. It helps us temper our ego.
And then, Jesus tell of the Great Commandment. Again, the Temple Priests try to trick Him. But He answers that the Great Commandment is to love your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength; and the second commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself. A true message for this and ALL seasons.
Passover is the Jewish feast remembering the ‘angel of death’ passing over the Jewish homes marked with lambs blood prior to the exodus from Egypt. Symbolically, it is a mental attitude in which we are bridging over from an old state of consciousness and entering a new—-mortal to spiritual. I can understand why we can and should celebrate this every year. We continually go back and forth from mortal to spiritual in consciousness. We all need these reminders.
It is said that the “last Supper’ took place in an upper room. Does anyone know what that means, metaphysically? Any time upper, or looking up is mentioned, it means going to a higher state of consciousness. When Jesus is said to look up, it’s the same thing, going to our inner Christ Consciousness…connecting with Spirit.
And did the “Last Supper” really happen the way we think it did? According to some current Bible scholars, no. Those words, ‘this is my body and this is my blood’ were ‘added’ later, by Paul in his writings to one of his churches, and then copied into the various Gospels according to these new scholars. Traditionally, Jews would have been astonished by the very thought of eating someone’s flesh & blood, even in this supposed form. So, something added ‘for effect’ maybe? Who knows? We can only guess. Or maybe the interpretation is miscued. Keep in mind, most of the Gospels were written at least 60 years and more, after the death of Jesus.
The Garden of Gethsemane was near Jerusalem. It represents the struggle and sometimes the suffering we go through in the process of eliminating old consciousness and entering into the new. This happens to us when Truth is realized as the one reality. In Jesus’ case, the Truth of His pending death caused suffering, but His acceptance of “God’s Will” is, in the end, what we all come to.
Yes, we have free will, as did Jesus. And sometimes we use that free will and do whatever we wish to do. I certainly have, sometimes to my own and others detriment.
But, eventually, we all end up choosing God’s Will. In the end, eventually, we discover that, the answer is Love. Loving. And as we let that love flow through us, our life changes.
Oh, we still have human desires. We still wish ‘the cup could pass.’ But we eventually know, that the road we must travel is the one before us, as did Jesus.
Did Jesus and Judas have a plan? Should we be vilifying Judas still, today? I don’t think we should. I think it was all part of the plan. How else could Jesus have been martyred? I believe it was a contract made before birth to put everything in its place.
Did Judas have a choice? OF COURSE! We all do. But in the end, we all end up at the same place. Doing the will of Spirit. Learning our lessons. Becoming awakened beings.
In the Garden, Jesus prays for strength for what must come for him. We have all had instances when we may dread something we feel we need to do. It may be a conversation that must happen, or choosing to end a relationship, maybe making a choice about healthcare for yourself or a loved one.
This was the case for Jesus and is the case in every moment of our life, when we realize that whatever we’re going through, we are not to shirk from any situation or circumstance that seems to overwhelm us. It is in such moments we are to remember who we are spiritually—we are spiritually made in the image and likeness of God. When we see from this vantage point, we will stand and say “For this purpose we were born.”
When we ‘know what is ours to do’ and do not do it. Could that be “missing the mark?” An interesting question.
Our choices may seem simple compared to what lies before Jesus. But He gives us a very good example of what to do when we are faced with a choice that lies heavy upon us…Pray. Close off the outside world with all its chaos and get quiet, and LISTEN. The guidance we all long for is there.
And Jesus finds it and the strength he needs to continue.
Since he was in constant communion with the presence of God, when seeming betrayal in the form of Judas took place, Jesus was ready. Note: it was a seeming betrayal. Judas is often unjustly maligned. But without Judas sacrificing himself, Jesus would not be remembered today. Sacrifice means to make sacred. Judas is often condemned as the one who loved Jesus the least. In fact, he may have been one who loved him more than anyone. He served as the catalyst for the glad surprise of the resurrection to take place.
So Judas’ kiss, I think, means something. It was a way to identify Jesus to the soldiers that were there to arrest Him, but I think maybe more than that.
When we meet up with someone we care about, we greet them with a smile, a hug and sometimes a kiss. I think it may be that Judas loved Jesus very much and he made sure Jesus knew that, even under these extreme circumstances.
It’s a thought.
One of the interpretations of the Last Supper has the question, “Is it me?” when the disciples learn that one is going to betray Jesus. And, in the end, they all deny Him or being with Him.
We know what is in our hearts. We don’t need to ask someone else for our truth. We may not want to hear or acknowledge it, but, deep down, we know. We really don’t need to ask, “Is it me?”
The readings say Satan enters Judas. That’s what is written in most Bibles. We do not become an angel or a devil in a moment. This makes me feel even more so, that it was part of THE plan. Remember, all this is according to the scriptures, that they be fulfilled.
AND, we in Unity do not recognize THE DEVIL. There is only one power, Good,
Jesus meets His fate, if you will, with no resistance. I believe He knew full well what lay ahead for Him. But He went through it all with head held high. Was it ‘fate’? Did He need to do this for soul development, our example from moving from caterpillar/human to butterfly/spiritual being? Could very well be so?
Keep in mind, when we read about the characters in the Bible, they represent something in or about us. The greatest value of the story is its spiritual rather than its historical significance—although there is some history in it.
Pontius Pilate symbolizes the external circumstances that at times seem to be overwhelming. Pilate thinks he has power over Jesus and asks him several questions. However, Jesus’ response is essentially that the power does not lie with Pontius Pilate, but with God. It didn’t matter what Pontius Pilate did, and ultimately he decided he didn’t want to be bothered, so washed his hands of the whole deal. Jesus in that moment was demonstrating that no situation, circumstance, or external authority figures had any power over him.
In your own life, you may be facing some kind of Pontius Pilate. There may be someone in your life who thinks they can control or manipulate you. You may have a boss who thinks he or she has the final say-so about your prosperity or happiness. People think that if they are in or out of your life, your joy is dependent upon them. You may have allowed them to think that. There may be all kinds of Pontius Pilates running around thinking that they have the final word on your life.
But having fully devoted yourself to God, you’ll say and do what you will; it does not matter. Whatever happens will pull the highest and best out of me because I’m going to sacrifice my littleness so my authentic Self will come through. A new birth is about to take place.
We all have crucifixions; without them there is no resurrection.
According to The Course in Miracles, the message of the crucifixion is perfectly clear:
‘Teach only love, for that is what you are.’
If you interpret the crucifixion in any other way, you are using it as a weapon for assault rather than as the call for peace for which it was intended. The Apostles often misunderstood it, and for the same reason that anyone misunderstands it. Their own imperfect love made them vulnerable to projection, and out of their own fear they spoke of the ‘wrath of God’ as His retaliatory weapon. Nor could they speak of the crucifixion entirely without anger, because their sense of guilt had made them angry.
To think of the crucifixion as a message to teach only love, rather than guilt, is beyond what many can imagine or live. It is so often used as a “weapon for assault” but it was a call for peace — not attack, not guilt. Think today of your thoughts about the cross or the common phrases you may say in conjunction with it, or the pain and guilt that it may represent. Change those thoughts to only love. Let go of the suffering.
The Easter story demonstrates that there is something within us that was here before we incarnated and remains after seeming death. Death is not the end of life, rather the continuation of the life process. Jesus proved this in the great demonstrations known as the resurrection and the ascension. Jesus’ essence was so spiritualized that he was able to say “the Father and I are one.” He was serving as a reminder that there is no separation between us and Spirit. It is the recognition that there is only God; all else is just an illusion.
Resurrection follows crucifixion. No life escapes this process. The Easter story is about an old way being crucified so something new can be born. This is not a once-in-a-lifetime event. When someone experiences a divorce, the death of a partner, loses a job, or experiences a shift in external circumstances, an old identity dies so a new one can be born.
We look to Jesus as a model for how to resurrect from our own crucifixion experiences. The Easter story is a reminder that no matter what seems to happen to us, it does not have the final word. We can look beyond appearances and recognize that there is a divine plan unfolding. Our task is to hold on to that vision until our life bears witness to truth that liberates us and sets us free.
One of the greatest teaching of Jesus was how to be in this world but not of it. He taught love and so he forgave even those who killed him.
He is a great example, not a great exception. Let the cross symbolize this to us. A reminder that even though, metaphysically, the horizontal bar of the cross represents our state of mind with its erroneous beliefs, the vertical bar represents the elevation of the Christ mind or Christ consciousness. They intersect, they are connected. As we are to the Christ consciousness within and all around us.