“The Seven Living Words…Transform your life with this illuminating perspective on the Seven Last Words of Jesus”, ‘Oneness’ and ‘Truth’.
GREAT MORNING BELOVED!!
Great to be back with you again. I do hope you are enjoying our Lenten Series based upon Rev. Mark Anthony Lord’s book, “The Seven Living Words…Transform your life with this illuminating perspective on the Seven Last Words of Jesus”.
Last week our words were ‘forgiveness & NOW. If you missed it, go to FB – Unity Spiritual Center of Coastal Delaware or the webpage – www.unityspiritualcenterofcoastalde.org to review the message.
Here is a wonderful ‘review from Alan Watts I just found on FB: “We are living in a culture entirely hypnotized by the illusion of time, in which the so-called present moment is felt as nothing but an infinitesimal hairline between a causative past and an absorbingly important future. We have no present. Our consciousness is almost completely preoccupied with memory and expectation. We do not realize that there never was, is, or will be any other experience than present experience. We are therefore, out of touch with reality.”
NICE. Right? Or maybe not, if that is where you presently are…
This week we will look at two new words, ‘Oneness’ and ‘truth’.
Let’s start with Oneness.
I know many of you may think of the Oneness movement popular throughout the country and the world. This is a bit different. We are looking at Oneness with God, with everyone and everything; but also, oneness with each other. We are emphasizing that we are all ONE with the Spirit and energy that is God, Divine Mind, our Creator.
Let’s look at this week’s verse: “Woman, behold your son! Behold your mother!” from John 19:26-27
What comes to your mind when you see or hear or read this verse? It would be wonderful to hear your responses. Send me a text or email…I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Rev. Lord ‘s ‘take’ on this verse is pointing us in a different direction. I would suspect a very different direction than what you or I may have originally gone.
He sees this as a ‘spiritual direction’ for us to look at. He wants us to look at the possibility that Oneness is the direction that verse is leading us to.
Oneness and right relationship.
Lord tells us we can only awaken to our spiritual power and evolution when we go deeper in the roles of those around us. We take all those in—–family, friends, neighbors, Black, white, rich, poor, all faiths, all cultures, all colors…they are all our family, all our friends, and we hold them all in right relationship.
We see everyone as One, as part of the whole. No separation. Only togetherness.
A Course in Miracles tells us, “Heaven is not a place or condition. It is merely an awareness of perfect oneness.”
What a wonderful realization…heaven is an awareness, an awareness of perfect oneness. Perfect togetherness. Perfect connection.
To get to that perfect awareness, we must crucify the illusion of separation, fear, and suffering when we focus our attention and prayers on the Wholeness of God, here and now, and always present.
The illusion needs our belief in it to survive! Kind of like the ego.
When we take that belief away, we open our closed eyes and experience perfect relationships…with Divine Mind, God, with all.
Lord tells us we do not need the ego – another word for false reality. It is not of God…it is of the dualistic world. None of us need the ego because God always provides. Divine Spirit is our safety, our sustenance, our all.”
The Lilies of the field do not need an ego to know the love and care of God.
“The only reason we do not know God as our complete, perfect, and constant support is because we don’t believe it.”
And that, my friends, is what holds us back from experiencing Gods total love. Our needs are met exactly to the extent that we allow them to be met. And we are responsible for what we allow…simple.
You don’t like that? Only you can change it. I love that Unity reminds us of OUR responsibility in this life.
“When you no longer fear, resent, or perceive your brother or sister as separate, you no longer live and move in fear. There is no way to transform into the full power and presence of the Light of God within and be afraid of your brother or sister at the same time.
A choice must be made.”
Try this, as you move throughout your day, whenever you pass or interact with other folks, say in your heart, “You are my sister/brother. We are One and you are loved.”
Centered in our Love of God, we find that we love others even more. We realize our true relationship to every other human being in the human family. In Spirit, we are each others’ mother, brother, sister. We feel our closeness to others as we reach inwardly to Spirit. Being one with God, we are close to all that is.
When we collectively say “YES” to Oneness, the Kingdom of Heaven will appear right before our eyes. First the collective ego of humanity must be diffused and released. We can do this, one person at a time, you and me.
We all must recognize that all paths lead to God. No matter where you are on this journey…every journey leads to God, by whatever name.
Now let’s look at this week’s second word, Truth and the verse, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46
For many years I believed Jesus was saying that God left him alone to die a terrible death. As I grew, I began to search my beliefs, trying to find where I fit. Things just didn’t seem right to me. I and my brothers attended a United Methodist church with my Uncle and Aunt & their family for several years.
We learned all about Jesus loving the little children in Sunday School and then as we sat through church, we learned about God’s anger and wrath.
A bit confusing.
It got even more so when I attended Mass with my Mother, she was Catholic and yearned to return to Mass. Looking back, I wonder if she felt she needed one of us kids to want to attend Mass before she thought she could safely attend also, because of my father.
When the Catholic teachings didn’t fit, I was a seeker without a church for many years.
My search for understanding and meaning took me finally, to Unity. It was there that I could see the story of the crucifixion differently…metaphysically, metaphorically. When we are challenged spiritually, we often feel as if God has forsaken us. We get into that dark night of the soul and feel so very alone. But we must recall that Jesus passed through similar challenges. We are to persevere.
When we do so, we then re-connect with our consciousness and KNOW that we are not alone.
If we take a look at this verse and all of the words from Jesus, we see that everything was done for our awakening, and to support us in our own crucifixions and resurrections. Jesus was a Master Teacher. He knew what he was doing!
This Fourth Living Word is a gift that says, “Now is the time for a final, deep cleansing of the consciousness…are you ready?”
If you think you are finished cleansing, forgiving…think again. I saw something the other day, if you are still alive, you still have forgiveness work to do.
We have done some powerful forgiveness work thus far, and so, we may hit a wall of despair. When we embrace this part of the journey, whether we despair or not, we celebrate it … it is a sign that we are moving in the right direction.
If you feel fearful or abandoned, these are not wrong feelings. They are to be moved through with perseverance and faith in all that is Good-God. Embrace the word TRUTH and go deep to uncover any fears or betrayals lingering there. Past betrayals by people we have loved or needed, we may have thought we dealt with them, but often remnants of fear, despair, and anger linger.
Going into the Truth, we can gain new insights.
Master Yoda: “Named must your fear be before banish it you can.”
We need to find our fears and confront them, to remove them from consciousness and subconsciousness.
There is that part of our consciousness that still clings to the belief that there is something outside us that has power over us. By giving expression to this universal sense of aloneness in times of trial, Jesus released it for himself and for us. He speaks what is often in our own hearts when we embark on the spiritual path.
Experiencing crucifixion, spiritually – erasing sense thought, error thinking, letting go – may be difficult. Sometimes we may feel that God has left us, forsaken us. When these periods of darkness and doubt come, we too question. We ask, “Why?”
Our emotions can have a voice; we don’t need to hide them but may speak them aloud and bring them to the light of prayer, to be transformed by the light of love. Our spirit knows, “My God – for this purpose was I born” and allow ourselves to pass through our self-imposed boundaries. It is through this experience we find new life. We have come to this hour for a purpose. We no longer see ourselves as victims but as the vehicles of pure Spirit.
All this is true for grief. Truth is being willing to face the reality of our grief. “When grief is hidden and unexpressed, it blocks our growth. Any grief is to be expressed…
Mark Anthony Lord states that we all have a coating of grief around our false beliefs about ourselves and the world. Our false beliefs separate us from our true source of love and the joyous, peaceful feeling of knowing we are One with the goodness of life.
Acknowledging and moving through this grief is part of the healing process. When appropriately used and moved through, grief will return us to the experience of our inherent wholeness.
Our word Truth…the truth is none of us have ever been forsaken. None have been abandoned.
“The Seven Living Words”, “Forgiveness” and “NOW”
GREAT MORNING BELOVED!!
Great Morning my friends. It is wonderful to be with you again. I pray all is well with you and that you are taking care of yourselves and your loved ones.
I hope you enjoyed the Black History Month presenters, Diane Mitchell, Leroy White, Jr., Carolyn Showell and Angela Taylor. They did a great job, and I am putting it out there now hoping that they will continue the special presentations for Black History Month next year. If you haven’t seen these presentations, they are available on our FB and web pages.
Today we start our new Series for the reminder of Lent. This year, Big Unity’s Lent Series is based upon Rev. Mark Anthony Lord’s book, “The Seven Living Words” and their own booklet based on that book for the Lenten Season, “Release and Renew.”
This booklet has ‘release’ affirmations and ‘renew’ affirmations for Lent. There are also excerpts from Rev. Lord’s book and daily readings for Lent.
I’m reading the book and using this booklet for our Services, as well as whatever I find in my heart and online, to add to the Message.
This week we are looking at the words, “forgiveness” and “NOW”.
So, what were the Seven Last Words of Jesus? They were, “…for they know not what they do.”
Jesus, our Way-Shower, gets right into it, doesn’t he? No messing around. We are to forgive because sometimes we, everyone, do not know, not understand, what we do.
How many times are we going to talk about forgiveness? Well, as many times as we need to get to the point where we are forgiving? Where there is no question whether forgiveness is even needed or required.
70 x 7?
YES! And even more, if necessary.
If we are all one, then when we forgive others, we are forgiving ourselves, and vice-verse.
Forgiveness is the mightiest of spiritual acts. Without it, we are blocked in our spiritual journey. Forgiveness resurrects our peace of mind from the perils of victimhood and releases our negative judgments.
SO why do we have to discuss forgiveness still? Because we are human, living in a dualistic world. And our error thinking gets going and before we know it, we do something that we need to ask forgiveness, of others…of ourselves.
Or someone does something to us that we think requires forgiveness from them.
We forget. ‘…forgive them for they no not what they do.’ To err is human.
We recognize the destructiveness of unforgiveness and remember that it arises from a lack of understanding.
Fred Luskin, Ph.D., has been studying forgiveness for many years. He said forgiveness is giving up all hope for a better past.
Thinking that forgiveness is needed is error thinking, which causes fear-driven choices. If we are in fear, then we truly do not know what we do.
Rev. Lord tells us, “seeing so much bad in the world is not an indication that what you see is correct; it is, instead, a sign that you are stuck in the illusion of duality and seeing incorrectly.”
Our collective belief system has come up with some horrific manifestations…Hitler is one most people question right away. And we have witnessed some pretty extreme examples of fear-based manifestations in the last year, right here in our country.
All based upon fear and the belief of separation.
Well, we are not separate. We are One. There are no lines of separation if we are practicing forgiveness.
If we do not accept the process of forgiveness, then, as Rev. Nirvana Gayle states: “If we’re unwilling to heal, we only condemn ourselves as species to reenact and repeat whatever is unhealed.”
Haven’t we seen this already, throughout our country’s short existence?
The racial divide is enough in itself to maintain the unhealed if we do not take a stand and move forward with the healing process.
Forgiveness is the act of releasing ourselves from the bondage of an ongoing negative connection. Forgiveness resurrects our peace of mind from the perils of victimhood and releases our negative judgments.
Let’s reach out as our Way-Shower has shown us with the simple but powerful words: “Father forgive them…” Jesus is “calling upon the divinity, the wholeness, and the unconditional love of God to do the forgiving.”
John 14:10 tells us, “It is the Father within that doeth the work.”
The Father within Is the consciousness of all that is good, perfect, and pure.
Research tells us we are wired for revenge and forgiveness, and we have the capacity to choose either response. Researchers are specific about how they define forgiveness when studying its effects on our well-being and happiness. Psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky calls forgiveness “a shift in thinking” toward someone who has harmed you. It has nothing to do with reconciliation, forgetting, excusing or justice. When you are ready, forgiveness is a powerful choice you can make that can lead to greater well-being and relationships. This choice carries with it an intention to heal yourself.
So then, How Do We Forgive? Mary-Alice and Richard Jafolla in “The Quest, A Journey of Spiritual Rediscovery” tell us:
We make up our minds and our hearts to let go, knowing that carrying around anger and judgment toward others or ourselves is a burden we no longer wish to bear.
To understand forgiveness, we need to understand what it is not. It is not about condoning bad behavior or saying we must trust those who have mistreated us. It does not mean that there will be no justice for bad acts.
Consider this from H. Emilie Cady’s Lessons in Truth, written more than 100 years ago:
“To forgive does not simply mean to arrive at a place of indifference to those who do personal injury to us; it means far more than this. To forgive is to give for—to give some kind of actual definite good in return for evil given.”
This may seem like a tall order but when done, we can see the results straightaway. Rather than be consumed with anger and bitterness, we forgive. Forgiveness is the answer.
Those who we believe have been unjust to us, “know not what they do”…perhaps they have pushed us to new levels of being, enlarging our hearts and minds.
I forgive myself for my mistakes, and I forgive others for their mistakes, knowing none of us is perfect.
The Second Living Word for this week fits in perfectly…it is Now.
Mark Anthony Lord looks to the crucifixion scene and sees Jesus representing the Now. The two men crucified with him represent the Past and the Future.
The past and the future play a big part when we are in the midst of transformation.
Jesus’ said, “Today you shall be with me in paradise.”
Paradise. The Kingdom of Heaven.
It is available to us here, now and always.
But paradise can only be experienced in the now-present moment.
It is not so much the past that determines our current experience but our thoughts aboutthe past. We do not allow the past to rob us. We give thanks for how it has shaped us.
Anxiety, worry and doubt about the future rob us and so we bring our attention to the present moment. Spiritual awareness gives us strength and protection. Today we are with Spirit. And only today – in the present moment – can we experience paradise. Paradise – our oneness with God. It is here, it is now, it is forever. Experience it in this moment now.
Nothing else exists except the eternal now. God and all good things are present in your life NOW.
A Course in Miracles tells us; “Look lovingly upon the present, for it holds the only things that are forever true.”
In what areas are you “walking backwards” through life? To what extent are you using the past as a blueprint for the present?
In what way are your thoughts and feelings about the future affecting your present happiness?
These questions when answered may help you release what is holding you from experiencing NOW moments.
The saying, “One day at a time” could be ‘one moment at a time. We need to learn how to be present in our lives one moment at a time.
That is when change takes place. Where learning to grow into the people we want to be…who we need to be to truly live a blessed life.
It’s not wrong to have desires. Neither is it wrong to expect fair treatment. But our flights into our past or future leave us wanting for the peace that can only be found in the Now moment.
And we will have disappointments when our dreams to not come to fruition. When we spend too much time lamenting the unrealized dream, we miss opportunities in the here and now.
Disappointment can be a joy destroyer. We all need to process our disappointments.
But we also need to realize that God is our Source. What we were hoping for may not be what is ours to have or experience.
And if we are really in touch with ourselves and the Universe, then we know not to have expectations…that’s hard though, isn’t it? Disappointments come from having expectations.
In the “Creative Mind.” Ernest Holmes tells us:
Life is for us today. There will be no change for tomorrow unless we do the changing today. Today we are setting into motion the power of tomorrow. Today is God’s day, and we must extract from it what of life we are to live. Tomorrow in the divine course of events will care for itself. The soul that learns to live in the great gladness of today will never weary of life but will find that he is living in an eternal here and now.”
The Now moment is where paradise resides. The Now moment is the only space and time where we can change, grow, and feel real joy…that is where God resides.
Two wonderful words to start our series for Lent. The other words for future Sundays are: Oneness, Truth, Vision, Completion, Surrender.
I hope you will continue to tune in to our Sunday messages. I am sure much wisdom and compassion will be part of Rev. Lord’s thoughts. I met him years ago at Unity Village, a wonderful man with great, positive energy.