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May 31, 2020
Synthesis of Spiritual Life
Rev. Laura MacLachlan
James Ch. 1 v. 22-25 Lamsa Translation of the Holy Bible
22 “Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 23 For if any be a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who sees his face in a mirror; 24 For he sees himself and goes his way and forgets how he looked. 25 But whoever looks into the perfect law and abides in it is not merely a hearer of the word which can be forgotten but a doer of the work, and this man shall be blessed in his labor.”
The New Age Bible Interpretation by Corinne Helene calls the Epistle of James the “Synthesis of Spiritual Life” or, walking the talk. There come a lot of challenges with moving the hearing of the words of the Epistle and making the move from head to heart. To make something a truth of your being takes time and practice. How do we make our lives one of spiritual truth in action?
Scripture tells us we can strive to be “doers of the word” and not just “hearers” of it. This is our external practicum. It is our spiritual internship, so to speak. It is a bringing out of the classroom the things we read or are just told to us about spiritual truth and integrating it into our daily life. A person I used to know would say, “It is time to become that which we talk so much about.”
Verses 23-24 tell us we are deceiving ourselves if we think we are becoming an enlightened being if we are still only an armchair quarterback for spirituality. In the Aramaic language of George Lamsa, seeing yourself in a mirror is a false image of you. It isn’t the real you. It’s untouchable.
Just seeing ourselves as the person we wish we were, as though reading about spiritual principles and enlightenment will make it so for us, does not make us an awakening Christ. We have to be out there in the real world putting our metaphysical knowledge of these principles into practice.
Do we have the patience? Can we put in the time? New Thought teacher Emmett Fox was asked how to “speed up attainment.” He answered, “True spiritual attainment (spiritual enlightenment) comes from putting into practice the knowledge you already possess.”
In other words, synthesize the teachings we’ve heard all along. Personal experience becomes our daily teacher. Seeing, feeling, witnessing the results of using our metaphysical principles are worth a library of books. Aren’t we better off in an airplane with an actual pilot than someone who has just read about flying airplanes?
It takes patience, perseverance, meditation on right action to become what we hear so much about. We are challenged to try and try again to remain in alignment with the flow of Divine
Mind. It takes thoughtful practice to realign with Divine love and order before taking on any earth plane challenge.
Verse 25 brings to the table the concept of “perfect law”. Ah! We find ourselves again being asked to implement Spiritual/Natural law into our personal choice for right action in any given situation. That will guide us in where we should put our energy going forward. Remember the expression “Want what you expect and expect what you want.” What we think about we create! That is the Law of Vibration! Scripture tells us when we do that we will be “Blessed in our labor.” We will reap what we sow for positive outcomes when we carefully choose where to invest our energy.
Bookstores and the Internet are loaded with books, guides, CD’s, and even different crystals which all claim will lead to personal transformation during our earth plane experience. So, in our short cut, “hack” world we live in we might try this or that. Then we ask ourselves—why didn’t it work? Why didn’t these things do our work for us?
James addresses that question in verse 26 because nine times out of ten the mastery we seek via outside sources isn’t OVER THIS WORLD but OVER OURSELVES! We read it over and over but it just doesn’t sound right! The trouble lies all “out there” doesn’t it? Surely it’s not ME!!!
I think anyone interested in reading this sermon knows better than that. Verse 26 suggests we not just react to what is “out there” but instead use God energy, the creative force in the universe, to transmute how we react, what we decree about it!
Whether this simple advice comes from somewhere in the Bible, a New Age book, a Wayne Dyer video..it’s always the same. James writes in Ch. 4 v. 8 “Draw nigh to God and God will draw nigh to you.” Or, align, realign with the flow of Divine Mind, Divine Love and Order, and let things come together perfectly. We challenge ourselves to say the words only a Christed Being can say with absolute certainty. “Thy will be done.” No “as long as..” no “but don’t make me…” It’s just an open hand to the universe. Whatever is Divine Order for me, that’s the only thing I want. Scary, right? When we can find the courage to say it and mean it we can transmute any situation into an experience which opens our spiritual eyes to our own infinite possibilities for Christhood.
We are all living this challenge in spades right now. Some days, when we turn on the news and begin to dwell on the tragedies we see, it’s all we can do to stay balanced and centered in love. Then we remember how far we’ve come in our own soul’s progression! Look how close the Epistle of James is to the Book of Revelation! All the inner struggles, dialogues, battles we’ve had with ourselves to get to this point! Every story, every character we have read about in the Bible to this point is us! They are our stories. We’ve done all that work!
Remember the Red Sea in Exodus? How to we remain on solid ground during those times when we are at war with ourselves? We focus on that shaft of light that guided the Israelites out of the slavery to their own old, outgrown beliefs in limitation and lack of freedom to grow as souls.
We are challenged to remember we have been Noah. We have been the Israelites, we have been Job. We have done our 40 days in the desert….How many times?
Our countless times of preparation for each new spiritual awakening are over for now and we can go forward. Our road to awakening the dormant Christ within is paved with natural and spiritual laws to show us the way, like a personal yellow brick road. Isn’t it ironic that L. Frank Baum, author of the Wizard of Oz, made the brick road yellow? The color of our solar plexus, which governs our personal will? Christed beings say “Thy will, not my will, be done this day.” It is when we surrender our personal will to Divine Mind that we are then “walking the talk.”
It is when we realize that truth of our hearts, not just the truth we read about, that we do what may seem like the hardest thing of all to do today. We get up off our couches, our comfort zones, and we step out into the world. We serve others. We share what we have found to be true to this point in time. We comfort, we listen. We become the people we talk so much about. As we do, we are “blessed in our labor.”
Blessings to each of you on YOUR yellow brick road to enlightenment!
May 24, 2020
“BE STILL AND KNOW”:
SOME THOUGHTS FOR SPIRITUAL CONTEMPLATION
DURING THE CORONAVIRUS LOCKDOWN
Rev. Bob Allen / Saginaw, Michigan
In this extraordinary time when we temporarily pause from assembling together physically, we continue our journey in the Path of Spirit, assembling together meta-physically and worshipping God in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:24).
The temptation of living an earthly existence, in a material body, is to give heed to alarming appearances that seem to be presented by our five mortal senses. Many such disturbing appearances swirl around us today, any time we view the electronic media. But Jesus teaches us to judge NOT by appearances; rather, to judge righteous judgment (John 7.24). That is, to judge beyond superficial, outward appearances; to judge not only with the material senses (sight, sound, touch, smell and taste) but with our metaphysical senses (such as hunch, intuition, prayer, clairvoyance, clairaudience and so on).
Every person has two voices in their head. Just as we have a control box to decide which channel we will watch on television, our power of choice and decision gives us the freedom to dismiss the voice of fear which says that you are a physical body; that you can get sick and “die”, and the body’s death is the end of your individualized existence. When we switch to the proverbial God Channel, we can rest in the quietude of knowing that at any moment, we can decide to “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). Spiritualism awakens us to the truth that in reality, THERE IS NO DEATH; there is only our Eternal Soul and Spirit, and a transition from our material body. Death is nothing more than walking from one room into another.
If we walk with Spirit, however imperfectly or sporadically, we can walk our earthly road confident that nothing – NOTHING – can happen to us that God will not bring us through. None of us can make it through our journey without help and support from Spirit, and our Guides and Teachers. Our human energy is always limited, finite; but Spirit is Infinite, limitless. Prayer, meditation, contemplation, spiritual reading – these are some of the ways that we can connect to this Infinite Source of Good. Like the electrical appliances in our home, we cannot access this Power if we’re not plugged in.
Let go and let God. It may look like a crazy, chaotic world, but the material world has always been that way. Happiness, peace and serenity are found within your own soul. We cannot live on this Earth plane without trusting. We do not know what is coming tomorrow, but we can TRUST that with Spirit within us, and all our guides and teachers and guardian angels, there is nothing that we cannot get through.
The Wise Teacher from Nazareth taught that where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Our genuine treasures are the things we do not and CAN not own, therefore they can never be taken from us.
We will find the beauty we seek. Our eyes will be opened, and we shall discern that this beauty is already within ourselves. And as Phillipians 4:8 says, in the version called “The Message”:
Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you have learned. Do that, and God, Infinite Spirit, who makes everything work together, will work YOU into his most excellent harmonies.
Peace Be With You!
May 17, 2020
Messages from the Quarantine?
Good day, dear reader! I am honored by your choice to take some time today to commune with Spirit and to receive this sermon from me.
As always, let us begin with a scripture reading from George Lamsa’s translation of the Holy Bible.
Scripture: 1 Peter 3: 12-17:
And who is he that can harm you if you are zealous followers of that which is good? 14 But if you suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed; and be not afraid of those who terrify you, neither be troubled. 15 But sanctify the Lord Christ in your hearts; and be ready to give an answer in meekness and reverence to everyone who seeks from you a word concerning the hope of your faith. 16 Having a good conscience, so that they who speak evil of you as of evildoers may be ashamed as men who belittle your good works in Christ. 17 For it is better, if it is the will of God, that you suffer for doing good deeds, rather than your evil doing.
(End of Reading)
If you finished this reading with at least one eyebrow cocked upwards, you are not alone. In fact, my usual practice of relying on the Revised Common Lectionary (LectionaryPage.net) led me to a place where I really was not sure which of the readings to use as a basis for my sermon today. I chose this passage, because the wisdom presented within appealed to me as both instructional and challenging, and least likely for me to have to issue apology after apology for the content. And after I decided to use this passage, I went back to the first verse of the first chapter, and then I realized why this particular passage was presented to me at this particular time:
“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the chosen one and pilgrims, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia Minor, and Bithynia.”
Peter is writing to an audience of scattered people, and so am I!
For the sake of historical context, this sermon was written during the time that much of our nation is still in a self-quarantine to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, and our church congregation is no different.
The audience for Peter’s first epistle is Christian converts who have been separated from each other and for whom coming together to worship and fellowship with each other could mean persecution and/or death at the hands of the government. Peter writes to show his support for the members of this diaspora, and to encourage them to “keep the faith.” Today, our congregation finds itself in the position of being a diaspora facing the question of when we will be able to worship together with as little risk as possible. To be clear, it is not the government that is the threat
in our case; it is the Novel Coronavirus, and the virus presents a serious and potentially fatal risk to anyone who contracts it.
And so, we find ourselves in isolation from each other. Many of us are working from home—assuming we are still employed and not furloughed. The things we took for granted, like eating out at a restaurant, working out at the gym, and even going to see a movie have all been replaced by the drive-thru or meal delivery, home exercise, and watching our favorite streaming service(s). As far as the things we may have purchased online that we might not have otherwise considered…let’s not go there…
On top of this, we have borne witness to those who would suggest that all of this is a hoax or some nationwide effort at government-sponsored “crowd control.” Some of us may have gotten into heated discussions with others through social media and had to reconsider that relationship (or, had it done for us). We may have witnessed the protests at the Capitol in Lansing and others’ efforts to use the courts to forcibly reopen the state’s economy as other states around us are doing so voluntarily—perhaps prematurely. We may also long for being able to see loved ones in person again and (horrors) actually hug them. So, this time presents a challenge to those of us who have chosen to “stay home and stay safe,” and like those early Christians, we may need some encouraging words like the writings of Peter.
So, going back to the Scripture reading, we can see Peter present an overall theme of “yeah, it’s tough right now, but don’t give up.” We see admonitions to the diaspora to stick with the things that they know are true and to stay centered in the God of their own understanding. Peter encourages his followers to “be not afraid” in the face of fearsome and challenging people and situations. This First Century advice can work in our Twenty-First Century as well.
I believe that this time of isolation and self-quarantine presents a unique opportunity for all of us to reevaluate our lives, our relationships, and what we consider to be “important.” If we choose to, we can consider this to be an “incubation period” where we are being prepared for a “level up” in consciousness.
I did find it personally amusing that almost as soon as some of us were getting restless about staying home, we suddenly read about “Murder Hornets” making their way to this country. And, then last week we experienced the effects of part of the Polar Vortex sending a blast of cold air to much of the North American continent. Hmm…could the “stay at home, you’re not ready to go back out yet” messages be much clearer?
To be clear, this is not the “will of God that [we] suffer,” because God does not work that way. Indeed, suffering is a choice that we—not God—make. So, if we instead choose to see this time as a time to stay inside and “go within” to take care of some of the growth that we have been called to do, we might emerge from this quarantine time as beings with a deeper and broader understanding of life in general and our own relationship to the ones around us. While we are cleaning and
dusting that coffee table for the umpteenth time, maybe it’s time to “clean and dust” our own minds of ideas and beliefs that no longer serve us. For all we know, this is the time that we need to prepare to bring about the “new Heaven and new Earth.”
Many of us have seen the reports that show how much environmental damage has been reversed during the time that humans have been kept inside. The news showed images of the canals in Venice so clear one could see the bottom. In India, the air has become so clear that citizens could see the Himalayan Mountains—for hundreds of miles. For many, this is the first time in their lives that they could see these impressive mountains with their own eyes.
Could humans emerge from quarantine with a greater respect for Mother Earth and work toward keeping that earthly healing going?
Could this time apart from each other physically be the time we need to learn how to honor and cherish each other while not taking each other for granted?
Could this be the time that we come to our deepest understanding of Truth and how to live life on purpose and with passion?
Or, will this time fade into our memories as we revert to how we lived before the pandemic?
What will your answer be?
May 10, 2020
Rev. Laura MacLachlan
Genesis 1: 26-27 Lamsa translation of the Holy Bible
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the air and over the cattle and over all the wild beasts of the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Do you ever wonder how THAT got past all the translations of the Bible? Making “man” in our own image, male and female? Lots of metaphysical principles to unpack here!
It is not uncommon in churches which practice the philosophy of Spiritualism or Divine Spiritual Metaphysics to refer to God as “Father-Mother God” in opening sentences in prayers. Why do we do that? What’s being acknowledged at that moment? We believe God energy, as we understand it to this point, is perfect, balanced and complete pure love energy. If that can be so, then it must be an expression of both masculine and feminine qualities and characteristics. It is the energy that animates the universe, so it must be in perfect balance with itself and in all its manifested glory on this earth plane.
The Old Testament saw God as a personified old man, subject to anger, jealousy and often seen handing out punishment to anyone who didn’t act in a certain expected way. Yet…did some evidence of this balanced energy as a key to soul growth still survive all the edits done during the masculine rule of the Picean Age? Remember the hidden wisdom encoded in the story of Noah and the flood? How did Noah and his family survive the tumultuous waters of unchecked emotion? By staying above the fray…floating above it in an “ark” (our evolved consciousness). What did he gather into the ark with him? Pairs of animals..male and female! We are challenged to find a balance of energy within us to stay above the waters of out of control emotion or visible conditions on the earth plane. Or, balance of emotions as a part of who we are allow us to not “drown”, be dragged under, by the sometimes chaotic state of the earth plane.
With that esoteric (hidden) wisdom in mind, shall we peel the onion and look at our scripture today, which honors the feminine aspect of God energy, all the way back at page 2 of the Holy Bible? Who is “us”? Our “likeness”? Could it be that for those of us with eyes to see, certain concepts survived human interpretation and edits that were designed to maintain control over the people in a paternal society?
In all religious history, there has been some kind of recognition of a feminine Godhead. It was personified, of course, as humanity has a habit of doing. Those who read the Bible literally read
those verses in Genesis and firmly believe God as a humanistic Father created with his humanistic female wife/companion/mother figure– male and female humans.
Sylvia Browne, in her book Mother God shared her research into the history behind a Mother God symbol for what balances masculine Father God energy. Isis of Egypt, she wrote, was that cultures symbol for restraint, unity and love. She was a healer and wise counselor. Quan Yin, she stated, was the “Buddhist Madonna.” Mother Earth began as a Native American concept, now universally adopted feminine creative principle. Of course, Mary of Bethlehem has expanded into the personification of feminine God energy for the Christian belief system.
Carol E. Parrish, in her book The New Dictionary of Spiritual Thought translated Sophia as the Greek symbol for wisdom and the “Companion of the Creator.” She was the “bestower of many blessings”. Proverbs in the Bible speaks extensively of Sophia. Carol Parrish writes that in Sophia, “Intellect and love are wed.”
In astrology, we learn of masculine sun energy and its counterpart, the feminine moon.
Across so many civilizations there was an innate understanding of balanced energy in the universe. The Aztecs, Inca Indians, Assyrians, Babylonians—so many cultures has some form of feminine Godhead.
But it was the coming of Jesus to the Earth plane with the New Testament energies he came to teach and anchor that accelerated the awareness of Mother God, the activator of God as unconditional love energy. Once the floodgate was opened, there was no turning back to the Old Testament image of God as angry Overlord to be feared at all costs.
She was called Mary of Bethlehem, Virgin (pure of thought) Mary, Mary- Mother of Jesus. In A.D. 431 The Council of Ephesus named the Virgin Mary “Theotokos,” which translates to “Mother God” or “Mother of God” OR “God-Bearer”. After that, that energy began coming forward to claim its place in our understanding of God as pure love energy,
In more modern times there have been sightings of Mary, books about messages from Mother Mary. Sightings of Mary were reported in Fatima, Portugal in 1917 and Lourdes, France in 1858. Conyers, GA. reported Mary sightings from 1990-1998. They were always related to messages of love, peace and prophecy. It seemed to be the activation of Jesus’ message about the nature of God beyond the Old Testament understanding of God, still very much accepted as true at that time.
The coming of the Aquarian Age seems to have pulled the recognition of Mother God energy to center stage again. Many more Biblical scholars and ordinary metaphysically minded spiritual seekers are open to the teachings of the Gnostic Gospels, the Dead Sea Scrolls and certain metaphysical writings. They seem to agree that there is validity in understanding balance of God energy being key to achieving Christ Consciousness.
Ted Andrews, author of The Occult Christ, (Occult-Hidden wisdom) also said the purpose of Jesus’ teachings was to restore the balance of Father/Mother God energy on the earth plane.
Jesus brought forward the principles of love, compassion, forgiveness as keys to becoming a fully enlightened being in physical form. Those are typically feminine attributes, our feeling nature, expressed outwardly. Our right brain! They represent our subconscious, our creative nature and our intuitive abilities. This was to balance “Father” God- our conscious mind. The Will. The Law. Our left brain!
This is summarized in the phrase, “Thought (Father God, First Cause) activates Principle (Creative, feminine Mother God energy) producing results (manifestation in visible universe).
See how beautifully the stage was set for our spiritual journey today? Are we not students of our Elder Brother, Our Wayshower, the Master Jesus? Have not other Christed beings become figureheads for other religions? Buddha, Krishna, Mohammad—all bringing the same message?
The secret to mastery over the challenges found on this earth plane lie in being at one with the balanced energy of God; to practice the Divine Attributes of both Father and Mother God. Integrate both hemispheres of our brain so that we can access our material plane and spiritual plane gifts and abilities. John 14:6 scripture tells us “Jesus said to him, I am the way and the truth and the life; no man comes to my Father except through me.” That does that say to us? Unless you live with the consciousness of an awakening Christ, you are not able to live fully in the flow of Divine Mind. That consciousness is fully aware of the balance in God energy, male and female characteristics and can act out of both aspects of ourselves.
So, we work to honor and practice those characteristics every day. We live within the teachings of natural law. We align our will with Divine Love and Order. We strive to be compassionate, loving people-as we have been taught in the Beatitudes. We try to be humble, merciful, a peacemaker. Matthew 5:17 says “I did not come to weaken the law or the prophets; I have come to fulfill.” In other words, the Commandments (The Law) Moses brought to the people are not cancelled out by what I have come to teach, but fulfilled, or filled out, balanced. It was a point in time here on the earth plane for the Feminine aspect of God to become part of the Earth’s incarnate being’s evolution going forward.
So, as we celebrate the day that honors our Mothers who have loved and nurtured us in this lifetime—even under the strange conditions of a pandemic– let’s also see them as a personification in our personal lives of the balanced God energy that animates all things. They are our first teachers for all things loving and forgiving, our first taste of unconditional love in physical form.
Blessings to each of you who are mothers, children of mothers—and all those others who have mothered us in so many ways!
May 3, 2020
Truth-Yours, Mine and Ours
Rev. Nancy Hall
Hello; this is a definitely a different venue on delivering a sermon and a bit out of my comfort zone but I appreciate the chance; the opportunity to present it to you. Today’s topic is TRUTH.
A lot can be said about truth with everything that is going on currently in society but that was not the truth I’m speaking about. When I went to hit send on my keyboard to send this sermon off into cyber space to be placed on the church’s website I heard DON’T not yet. You see, the version I was going to send was all about spiritual truth and had nothing or very little to say about the current state of affairs. I figured that we all have had it “up to our eyebrows” of hearing about it via social media; the media, the press conferences etc. I figured you didn’t need me to chime in; but to see how we as a “collective consciousness” arrived at this moment we need to see what we as that “collective consciousness” put into motion. Now this is NOT a political statement, this is not to persuade you to take sides. This will hopefully help you see that the energy we are in today is of our own making– our “collective consciousness’s” own making.
NO, none of us consciously said that we wanted this virus to infect hundreds of thousands of people and make thousands seriously ill and that we also wanted thousands to die and we wanted this country and the world to come to a halt. NO, I don’t believe that for a minute. But I do believe that as that “collective consciousness” we have been asking for a change and in some way we have been demanding a change and the Universe has responded.
This request on that “collective consciousness” level didn’t just start in the last few months, or few years. It has been building momentum for many, many, many years. I was compelled to take a look at some Presidential campaign slogans over the years and I chuckle because you can see on this physical level that the energy of change was/is in the air. 1908 President Taft — “a square deal for all”; 1928 President Hoover–“a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage”; 1956 President Eisenhower–“Peace and Prosperity”; 1960 President Kennedy–“A time for greatness 1960”; “We Can Do Better”; 1976 President Carter “A Leader, for a Change”; and more recently 2008 President Obama–“Yes We Can” “Change We Can Believe In”; 2016 Senator Sanders–“A Future To Believe In”; President Trump–“Make America Great Again!”
As that energy for change was being expressed in our country, think about what energy for change has been directed out there on a collective level for other nations.
As I see it, the challenge in what we are faced with today (or “opportunity”) is how do we, we as a “collective consciousness,” rise to the challenge/opportunity and create that change we want? I’m not asking on a physical level because we need to look deeper than that. I am asking on a spiritual level; and the answer is living your “Spiritual Truth”. Through this whole experience we as that “collective consciousness” are given an opportunity for growth, spiritual growth. If asked, “Do I want things to go back to normal?” My “automatic” or “knee jerk” response would be, “Sure I do!”. I want see my family and friends. I want the economy to rebound; I want to see the businesses thriving. Then quickly I counter with, “But back to what normal?”
Again, we are given an opportunity for growth; to see beyond the physical and see that things do need to change and the change “must”. Yes, I said “must” start with us. We are given the opportunity to witness the complete spectrum of it all. We see whether people are wearing masks or not; if people social distancing or not; if people rallying for their rights to be given back as well as those adhering to governments orders. We are seeing people stepping up and lending a hand when they have very little themselves to give; we are seeing people expressing their creativity- finding ways to stay in contact. We see the spirit of the “collective” burst with compassion, kindness, goodness and love.
I started out saying that we as a “collective consciousness” is demanding change and that vibrational change is that of spiritual growth. We crave those moments of a spiritual awaking on an individual level and on a collective level. On the individual level we get those moments; those “spiritual growing pains” where we come to a realization that we cannot or should not continue on the route that we are taking. Now, on a collective level, we are at a “growing pain” moment. A question to ask is “what energy do you want to contribute to this “collective”? As for me, I don’t want to see the “collective” go through this again. I want this lesson learned on all levels.
I believe it starts with each one of us. What is our responsibility to the “collective”? What is our role in the dynamics of it all? Again, the answer is Spiritual Truth. Living your spiritual truth and honoring others to live theirs–even if you are not in sync with it. From John 4:24 from the Lamsa translation of the Bible:
“God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.”
God is spirit; God is love energy and we must worship or live our life in that love energy; our spiritual truth. It’s not easy, but is it supposed to be? We can spiral so quickly out of balance when we falter, disconnect and forget that we are a spark of that Divine Source. We are Love. And yes, Love does conquer all. I firmly believe that.
When you are working or living from that Love energy you are working with Divine Source energy. Each of us has that responsibility to live our spiritual truth. Each of us has the opportunity to help others on their path. Each of us as both an individual and as part of a “collective” can rise to the level that we are craving for. We all rise together.
Gandhi said it best: “In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness. Our life is a long and arduous quest after Truth”
This is a quest, a constant search or realization of our truth. And as many things that change with growth — truth is no different. As we grow our truth will evolve and grow as well– it has to. We’ve reached the cusp or are in the infant stage of the Aquarian age. We are being called upon to see beyond ourselves to the collective. We are being compelled to work with others to move toward the change that is needed. We can no longer be like a cat hanging onto a tree, “hanging on for dear life”.
We need to release the old; release what no longer serves us. We need to grasp what serves us as a whole– what serves our highest and best good.
It is in working constantly with the flow of Divine Source; of Love. We bring to us what we focus on, so our focus must be on peace and harmony. We focus on finding the solution for peace and harmony for the whole, the collective, the “all” of humanity.
Energy must be focused on what is right in the world not what is wrong. We must have faith in our intuition and utilize it always. We must truly listen to what others are saying and honor what they are saying– even if we don’t agree with it.
If we sincerely honor what other people are saying then the energy we are manifesting is that others will truly honor our words as well. It is that working together, that building together, that moves us beyond what is happening now. This is living our Spiritual Truth. It is taking responsibility for our actions.
We can do this! It sounds like a big task and it is, but we chose to be here at this time, in this energy, to be a part of the “collective consciousness”.
We would not have incarnated at this time if we felt we would not or could not be up to the task of assisting the “collective” moving up in consciousness as a whole. We are powerful individuals of peace, harmony and love. I invite you to live your spiritual truth, see the Divine in all– know that you make a difference.
It’s time I step down from my soapbox; I appreciate you logging on and reviewing all the sermons that have been placed on the church’s website. My gratitude to all those that are working in these chaotic times to bring these sermons to you.
Many blessings to you and your families.
Much love to you all.
April 26, 2020
The Reset Button
Rev. Carey Barker
Today’s scripture is Romans 8:31,38-39 George Lamsa Translation of the Peshitta
What then shall we say concerning these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor empires, nor armies, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate me from the love of God, which is in Jesus Christ our LORD.
“How do we restart the reset button?!”
Here we find ourselves in the Third Sunday of Easter yet finding difficulty moving through that time of new ideas, new beginnings, and expanded service. Springtime for us Michiganders is all about seeing that new life that is emerging from the Winter sleep. We get excited about clearing our space both literally and metaphorically. Often finding our thoughts energized with new ideas and plans for the coming months.
My husband Steve and I dove right in and started our Spring rituals. We cleaned the yard, tended to the paddocks, and started new projects in and around our home. This kept us busy and with Steve’s extra time off, we were done in no time. It was good to keep our minds distracted from all the chaotic energies that are out there.
Usually we would find ourselves returning to our routines of normalcy with the added kick of enthusiasm. Instead we are left feeling like we are being kicked back to some repeat of the movie, “Groundhog Day”. It leaves us wondering if tomorrow will be different or will it be a repeat of today.
Like Phil, we become the victim of some weird supernatural fate and must adapt to the insane logic of the situation. It seems the world is going crazy around us and we must decide whether to let our emotions out or keep them bottled up. We try to act like everything is normal, but we know at some point, sooner or later there will be that new normal that the experts are talking about. What will that look like?
Not unlike the film, can we grow as this situation will ask us over and over to look inward? We are challenged to genuinely change, not just go through the motions. Can we channel the emotions we are feeling in a positive direction? For too long the collective energy has been living as if our life has become a script. It is past time that more people take individual responsibility for the good of the whole.
I chose this week’s scripture from Romans, as Apostle Paul is setting out to build a community, a network of people working together. He explains that a new life is offered through the following of Christ Consciousness. You become more than a conqueror of earthly things. It asks us to help each other, look out for each other. No more focus on who is right or who is wrong. Accepting others regardless of the material situation, working together in peace.
I hear and see many speculate if this pandemic is biblical, is it part of the “end times”? I say yes, it is. History tends to repeat itself in many ways, through cycles and evolutions.
We have been taking too long to get through the current “End Times”. Let us walk together, ready to move onto the “New Times”. If we, the collective consciousness, take the “high road” on the approach to these crossroads in life, it can only lead to greater beginnings.
Like ALL times, when there is an ending, there is a beginning of something new. It is up to us collectively to usher in greater beginnings when replacing the old. This current pandemic is no different.
As the old order of Pisces continues to dissipate energetically, it is not necessarily moving out of the way gracefully. While it is ushering in the new, the Aquarian Age, we cannot help but feel the energies exchange. These outer developments are reflections of that inner shift everyone has been talking about for a long time. While Pisces was about surrendering and growth as an individual, the Aquarian energy is concerned with things more global or cosmic. How do we bring about closure and move forward? Can we truly realize the importance of not letting our personal happiness be dependent upon outer circumstances?
As Yogananda said, “You do not have to wait for the end of the world in order to be free. There is another way; rise above the age in which you are born.”
Some foretell a utopian era of knowledge and brotherhood and others speak of a time when corporations and government rule the day. Its more realistic to expect that the truth will lie within the constantly shifting between the two extremes. How can we facilitate the highest expression of the coming era?
We have choices, when we do not see hope, purpose or meaning it opens the door to discouragement. When we remember that we have freedom through the holy spirit, freedom from judgment, defeat, discouragement, and fear, we step into the presence of GOD energy and experience joy and happiness.
I’m not saying just let yourself go to your happy place and ignore all that is going on around you. Although, I would like to, I’m asking you to look within and ask yourself what is it that controls your mind, the material or the spiritual, the external or the internal.
In our scripture Paul reminds us that we do not have to live in fear as the God energy is greater than all things. However, we need to do our part in working together with the God energy as co-creators.
This requires us to keep an open mind but also a positive mind. We need to keep our good momentum going while staying out of the energy of chaos and fear.
Abraham Hicks would suggest that you use your “17 Second Power”. The energy of Abraham teaches that if you focus on something for 17 seconds it activates a matching vibration. In the beginning, the vibration will not have much attraction, but the law of attraction will bring you more thoughts that match. The longer the focus, the stronger the power. Abraham also teaches that when you manage to hold a pure thought for as little as 68 seconds, the vibration is powerful enough to begin its manifestation.
We do have choices and we must choose what we want our new beginning to look like regardless of where other’s thoughts may be. All that is in our world, past – present – future, lives and works through source and every one of us has a say in what that will look like. We can stay in that lower vibration or we can be part of the consciousness that moves everything forward and into greatness. We have responsibility for our own awareness and attitudes and that may be the most important lesson of all.
There is a lot of shaming, name calling and opposing views out there BUT there is also love, lifting each other up and people who do agree and are working together in the most perfect ways. All of them are right, the thoughts out there are individual truths. We can look around and always find people or data to support our own thoughts. When we focus on the positive, we will attract more thoughts and things to be positive about.
There is a lot of time that many are being given to “stay at home” and it is a lot of time for some to be alone with their thoughts. Some of these thoughts are repeating every day like Groundhogs Day, which is great if they are uplifting. We must all make the effort to be forward thinking, higher thinking as our thoughts go out into the world. Energies of community, compassion and opening to greater awareness is very much needed. When we send out those higher vibrations, we assist others in finding theirs. Remember healing comes in many forms and source energy blended with the highest of intentions can bring things together in profound ways.
I want to conclude in telling you about the most “profound question” asked. I would love to take credit, but it was a question asked of Abraham Hicks. The gentleman asked, “Why do dogs risk getting bugs in their eyes when sticking their head out car windows?”. Their response was, “The contrast is a small price to pay for the exhilaration of the ride.”
In closing I ask that you remember through all these tough things, there are far more good things in this world. Always remembering that in the end, the ride was worth it.
Much love and blessings to all of you. I miss you and look forward to greater things to come. – Rev. Carey
April 19, 2020
After The Resurrection: The Next Part of the Story
Rev. Laura MacLachlan
On this Sunday after Easter, we come to the time after the Resurrection of Jesus leading to his Ascension. The first symbol to jump out at us yet again is the number 40. The time of his appearances and final teachings to the Disciples lasted 40 days. It was the time of the completion of their spiritual foundation, the “quickening” before they went out on their own to preach and teach what they had learned from our Wayshower, the Christed Jesus.
In total, there are 10 appearances. 10 reduces to 1 in Numerology; these final instructions were the doorway to the “new beginning” of their Ministry after the Ascension of Jesus. He wanted to be sure their faith in his teachings and most of all– the reality of the immortal nature of our soul essence– was solid. His teachings over the three years of his Ministry provided the path to individual Christhood. The crucifixion and resurrection was the reason behind why his teachings mattered to all incarnate beings on the Earth plane. That understanding, hand in hand with the realization of God as pure love energy, was contained in the “light” he had come to anchor on the material plane.
Let’s unpack the stories of the appearances containing the most vivid symbolism we can use as tools for our own enlightenment.
Most of us are familiar with his first appearance to Mary Magdalene when she was standing at the tomb, weeping because the body of Jesus had disappeared. As you may recall from the Easter story, when he appeared to her, she in her deep grief didn’t recognize who he really was.
It wasn’t until he said her name, “Mary.” The voice vibration of him saying her name opened her spiritual eyes to the reality of Jesus having risen from the dead, as he had promised.
Do you recall that he said to her “Touch me not,” as written in John 20:17? Why would he have said that to her? He appeared to others, even that same day—and let them touch him. Why not Mary?
Mary was in such a state of deep grief. Jesus and Mary had a very strong and loving relationship with each other. Some theorize they were actually married; saying it was why she called him “Rabboni,” a name usually reserved for married Jewish Holy Men (Teachers). As one who had not yet completed his transition to pure spirit, the energy of her grief would interfere with the energy for the tasks he needed to complete before his ascension.
We know as Metaphysicians the importance of releasing our loved ones who we do not want to hold back from their soul’s progression. This is the reason behind our Prayer For Progression for the deceased at the time of their physical death. Deep grief resonates with our lower emotional nature; it becomes an anchor to the earth plane and to those who are suffering this loss so profoundly. This is when it is the hardest to find balance between our material plane and spiritual plane sides of our brains which allow us to remember there is no separation in the change called death. Charles Fillmore writes, “The I AM is spirit but in order to rise into the realm of pure ideas (pure spiritual truth of our spiritual identity) it must not be attached to the clinging affections of the soul. Jesus did not want the sorrowing Mary “thought” to touch him. The spiritual mind does not grieve, it does not look to matter and the limitations of the flesh for life eternal and it dissipates the thoughts of sorrow by a denial of their reality.”(Mysteries of John by Charles Fillmore)
On Easter night, as written in the Gospel of Luke, Jesus appeared to two of the Disciples as a stranger. He walked and talked with them while on the road to Emmaus, telling them about Moses and the prophets and interpreting their meanings for them. Emmaus was literally a place of mineral springs, healing and medicinal baths. Metaphysically, it takes on a whole new dimension. It comes to us with ears to hear as a symbol for that place in our own consciousness where healing and truth of spirit “spring up” into our awareness. The story goes on to describe how, like Mary, they didn’t recognize who Jesus was at first. In this case, it wasn’t until he sat down with them to share a meal that their spiritual eyes were opened. In Luke 24 it describes how when he took bread, blessed it and gave it to them, immediately opening their eyes to the reality that their Teacher, Master and friend was right there with them. Scripture tells us “And their eyes were opened and they knew him and he vanished from their sight.” Ah-ha! As they internalized the spiritual food of the stranger’s teachings, they overcame the limited thinking of the material mind and suddenly the wisdom the Master Jesus had imparted became real.
Probably the most well known story of an appearance by Jesus is that of the “Doubting” Apostle Thomas. John 20:25 has Thomas saying “Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails and put my hand into his side, I shall not believe.”
This “plateau” of a soul’s enlightenment was very evident in the heyday of Physical Mediumship in the Spiritualist religion. So many who doubted the Mediumship of Jesus, his teachings about the survival of bodily death as it related to their own family members who had died as well as all the writings of those like Peggy Barnes about the Spirit World needed proof! They went to séances, cabinet, card and apport circles and readings looking for that one thing that would verify in their materially minded left brains that this stuff was true. Some, however, stalled there. These amazing demonstrations became almost spectator entertainment rather than a door to enlightenment opening as it was for Thomas.
I believe this is what led to the evolution of spiritual phenomena from something to be observed to the more hands on personal unfoldment and personal connection to one’s guides, teachers and loved ones. We all share these spiritual gifts. We can all have these “postcards from the spirit world” moments, not just famous Mediums. As Jesus said in John 14:12 “Truly, truly I say unto you he that believeth in me, the works that I do, ye shall also do.”
It is human to doubt the things we cannot see. It is a spiritual awakening to see and believe, leading then to our personal Discipleship: Our ministries of teaching, preaching and healing.
This brings us to the last of Jesus’ appearances which I feel is so important. It took place at the Sea of Galilee where 7 (Mystical number of completion of a cycle) of the Disciples were fishing. Jesus appeared at daybreak (return of the light of understanding) on the shore. They couldn’t see who he was. He called to them, asking if they’d caught anything. Answering no, he told them to cast their nets off the right side of the boat. When they did, it yielded more fish than they could lift out of the water.
Remember the left brain/right brain Malefactors who were crucified with Jesus? The left brain, the materially minded man, said (paraphrasing) “If you are who you say you are, get us out of here!” while the right brain, the spiritually minded man, said “Remember me when you come into your kingdom.” The full nets from the right side of the boat—the nourishment of our souls when we remain centered in spiritual truth—allows us to have those amazing breakthroughs in our striving for enlightenment. We can recognize and be one with our own indwelling Christ Consciousness. Peter, then recognizing the Master Jesus, joyfully jumped in the water and swam towards Jesus on the shore. Peter as faith is always moving toward the realization of his awakening Christhood.
His final instruction to them he repeatedly asked three times. “Do you love me? Then feed my sheep.” What is all this “getting” of understanding for? Yes, for our own soul’s progression..but also for SERVICE TO OTHERS. It tells us when our cups are full, we must go out and fill the cups of others. This is our commission just as it was the Disciples. It is our duty to share that which has become the truth of our being. It is that time when we go from being the student to being the teacher for whatever we have come to understand to this point. We have received the light of understanding and now we are transformed into a light bearer. Hearers of spiritual truth become sow–ers of seeds, feeders of flocks. The student is reborn as teacher. That’s the gift inside our Easter eggs. As we went on our “Easter Egg Hunts” for nuggets of new wisdom and understanding, we then share what have become our valuable metaphysical tools for living.
Rich blessings to each of you on your journeys.
April 12, 2020
THE SPIRITUAL SIGNIFICANCE OF EASTER
Rev. Joy F. Thompson
I remember sitting with my parents during an Easter service many years ago. The minister began his sermon by asking “Do you think that Easter is all about the Easter bunny?” A little child answered by saying “Yes.”
The adults all laughed. After the minister composed himself, he continued with his sermon.
So, I ask you, is Easter a holiday that is only about the Easter bunny, chocolate candy, or coloring and finding eggs? Is it something other than a special day to dress up in spring finery, attend church and then share a bountiful feast with your family or friends?
What is the meaning of Easter, Passover, Crucifixion, Resurrection and Ascension? How is the date of Easter determined? How did our current traditions begin? What is the significance of all of this in our own lives?
Let’s take a look at history, traditions and the evolution of customs. And, then, the spiritual significance.
Some historians and Biblical scholars agree that Easter originated as a pagan festival. It was a celebration of Eastre who was the goddess of spring, a time of renewal and new life. Often the goddess was depicted as a hare that represents the fertility of the season.
“According to the New Unger’s Bible Dictionary; The word Eastre, the goddess of spring, in whose honor sacrifices were offered about Passover time each year. By the eighth century, Anglo-Saxons had adopted the name to designate the celebration of Christ’s resurrection”
Some believe that Easter has evolved from the celebration of Ishtar, the Assyrian and Babylonian goddess of fertility and sex. She was known by the symbols of the egg and hare.
Metaphysically, Easter is the celebration and recognition of the eternal hope and life that indwells each of us and in all of nature.
Passover is a celebration of the Hebrew faith. “It is a night to be observed for the Lord for having brought them out from the land of Egypt; this night is for the Lord, to be observed by all the sons of Israel throughout their generations” (Exodus 12:42).
According to Ernest Wilson in The Week That Changed the World, “The term passover comes down to us with many meanings. It has been applied to the Exodus – that is, to Moses’ leading the children of Israel out of Egypt, through the wilderness (the Passover) into the Promised Land. In early American history, pioneers came to call any unfriendly or forbidding area that they must cross a ‘passover’. In metaphysics, Passover can describe the transitional state in which we are passing from one state to another.; one level of awareness, to another; and in that connection the assurance Jesus gave the disciples that everything was prepared for them, and they need only act on faith, was very timely and reassuring. “God is in the tares as well as the wheat.” He is with us in what seem adverse experiences as well as in those that appear favorable; and sometimes, we find that we learn the most and are most greatly blessed through the ones that most challenge our faith and daring. A sense of this came to the Psalmist when he sang “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies.”
Historians believe that crucifixion began around 400 BC in Persia. As the Roman Empire grew, it absorbed parts of pagan religions and that included crucifixion. Romans routinely used crucifixion as a strong deterrent to punish rebels, pirates, slaves, and enemies. To be crucified was considered a public disgrace.
Metaphysically, “The word crucifixion means the crossing out in consciousness of certain errors that have become fixed states of mind. (Keep A True Lent by Charles Fillmore).
The hope of resurrection has its roots in Jewish teachings, according to scholars. “The righteous and elect ones shall rise from the earth and shall cease being of downcast face. They shall wear garments of glory” is a passage from the apocalyptic book of Enoch that was probably written between 150-80 B.C.
According to Encyclopedia Britannica “Resurrection, the rising from the dead of a divine or human being who still retains his own personhood, or individuality, though the body may or may not be changed. The belief in the resurrection of the body is usually associated with Christianity, because of the doctrine of the Resurrection of Christ, but it also is associated with later Judaism, which provided basic ideas that were expanded in Christianity and Islam.
“Ancient Middle Eastern religious thought provided a background for belief in the resurrection of a divine being (e.g., the Babylonian vegetation god Tammuz), but belief in personal resurrection of humans was unknown. In Greco-Roman religious thought there was a belief in the immortality of the soul, but not in the resurrection of the body. Symbolic resurrection, or rebirth of the spirit, occurred in the Hellenistic mystery religions, such as the religion of the goddess Isis, but postmortem corporeal resurrection was not recognized.”
The Unity reference book, The Revealing Word, suggests “there has been a falling short of the divine standard. Through resurrection, man becomes an inhabitant here and now of “a new heaven and earth.” Rev 21:
In 325 AD, Roman Emperor Constantine called together the First Council of Nicaea. This purpose was an attempt to attain consensus in the many different versions of Christianity. It was commonly thought that the resurrection took place on a Sunday, so the Council determined that Easter should always fall on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal equinox.
The Spring Equinox varies from March 19-March 21. This is the day when light becomes equal to darkness. That light continues to increase and is welcomed after a long, dark winter.
So, now that we have explored the diverse cultural, traditional and metaphysical definitions for Easter, let’s consider how this sacred celebration can be one of personal and collective transformation.
In each of our lives, there have been many kinds of crucifixions. They may manifest as fear, illness, greed, poverty, anger, disappointment, guilt, self-pity, self-righteous, self-persecution and projection of our own discomforts onto others. There are many other ways crucifixions can be seen in our lives, too.
It is a mistake to believe that the historical and sacrificial death of one man can atone for everyone. This would mean that none of us have a personal responsibility to demonstrate our own resurrections. As metaphysicians, we know that personal responsibility belongs to each of us. It is time to sacrifice the aspects of our self that feels humiliated or ashamed for the choices we have made. It is appropriate to be accountable but to cling to ill serving emotions. Otherwise, we can’t or won’t be transformed or experience our own ascension. The Revealing Word defines ascension as “the progressive unfoldment of man into higher spiritual consciousness. “
Another way to perceive sacrifice is to view it as sacred. The Revealing Word defines sacrifice as “A refining process that is constantly going on in consciousness; the renunciation of old beliefs that seem good for new ideas that are more of the nature of Christ. “ It is part of our spiritual work to sacrifice the deeply entrenched limiting beliefs about our self and others. We are one. Created from the same Source. We are Love.
Every day presents opportunities to overcome the crucifixions and deaths of situations that no longer serve us. We can ‘sacrifice’ the limiting situations and state of minds. By focusing on the ‘crosses’ or crucifixions, we can’t fully embrace the resurrections.
It is vital to leave the ‘old’ and outdated states of mind, in order to see and experience the new life that is awaiting us so that we do ‘become an inhabitant of a new heaven and new earth.’
Currently, each of us, individually and collectively are being presented the sacred duty to bring light to aspects of our self, society and the entire planet. The situation is shining a light on parts of society that needs transformation. It is an opportunity to deepen our spiritual practice, recognize what we have taken for granted, and, when appropriate, extend our physical actions and resources to one another.
What thoughts, what beliefs, what mistakes are we holding on to that needs to be sacrificed? Some might be “If I have more than you, then I am more powerful. I don’t deserve to be happy. It’s all the governmental leader’s fault that we are experiencing this pandemic. I had a bad childhood so that’s why I can’t etc.” While there may be moments when we are tempted to think or say something like ‘Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. If possible, take this cup from me.” Now is the time to sacrifice excuses. Instead, accept personal responsibility and your resurrection into a higher consciousness. As Jesus, our Way Shower said “Never the less, not my will but Thine.
Rev. Lucille Fredericks (Divine Science Minister) wrote
“The hope and joy of the resurrection can remove us from the cross of separation into the awareness of our oneness with the One Life, the One Source of all life. It is the message of overcoming and the evidence of Eternal Life. It points us to the way of ascended consciousness-the Christed-Man. Jesus gave us the perfect example of the Resurrected Life and the Oneness with God.
Let us ‘arise’ from the crucifixion experiences and false concepts. Believe and demonstrate, to the best of our awareness, the resurrected life. This is the spiritual significance of Easter and every day.
April 10, 2020
Rev. Laura MacLachlan
The New Age Bible Interpretation by Corinne Helene calls the story of Easter “The Rite of Initiation.” Specifically, the actions which unfolded on Good Friday are filled with the mysticism, the symbolism, of our own journey to awakening our indwelling Christ potential.
We remember he saw it all in the Garden of Gethsemane, the “place of pressure” or “place of bitter wisdom.” He took with him Peter (who represents Faith), John (Love) and James (Living one’s faith). He had hoped they could watch with him, witness what was to happen, but they could not. It was HIS time for this Rite of Initiation, not theirs.
And so, the lessons unfolded during Holy Week. He rode into the city on an untrained donkey, thus demonstrating his mastery over our lower animal nature. This was to be all about substance, not razzle dazzle!
He hinted about what was to come, what this coming event was really all about when he instructed his Disciples to “follow the man with the water jug” to find a place for their Last Supper. The “man with the water jug” is the familiar symbol for the Astrological sign of Aquarius! This was a cosmic wink about the heralding of the next great age after the Piscean Age. The masculine energy of the Piscean Age would be balanced by the feminine energy of the Aquarian Age. It was the revealing of the seeds he came to plant, the energy he came to anchor on the Earth plane. This was confirmed by his parting words to them as written in John 13:34 when he said, “A new Commandment I give you; love one another as I have loved you.” The new energy in which we would live and move was one of love.
As events moved into the actual crucifixion, we must keep in mind that while much has been made of the suffering and brutality of that act, it was actually a normal way of dealing with criminals in that period of time. Many Christian religions use the horror of that punishment to invoke feelings of guilt and shame in their members, but as Metaphysicians, we understand that the vibration of those emotions keep us anchored in our own lower chakras and miss entirely the esoteric meaning at hand.
Crucifixion was the means with which the Master Jesus could shed his physical body and move into the final phase of his ultimate demonstration: The survival of bodily death.
To his left and right were the “malefactors” who were also crucified that day. What wonderful symbols of our own inner thought processes as we are faced with a time of a major shift in consciousness! The “left brain” part of us, our material mind, was the robber who said to Jesus, (paraphrasing) “If you are who you say you are, get us out of here!” In other words, I don’t want to go through with this! It’s too hard!” Meanwhile, that “right brain” part of us which recognizes the spiritual side of ourselves as part of a greater whole was the robber who said, “Remember me when you come into your kingdom.” He was the man Jesus acknowledged as he said “Today you will be with me in Paradise.” When we are able to rest in our awareness of the indwelling presence of God, we will know nothing can truly end our soul’s existence.
What is most interesting about the Good Friday story is the symbolism that continued to unfold during the Master Jesus’ time on the cross.
The Aramaic Translation of the Holy Bible by George Lamsa has a breath taking interpretation of that very well known phrase supposedly uttered by Jesus. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” This is something no Christed being would ever say! A being who has attained Christ Consciousness knows the spark of the Divine within them is never, ever, separate from anyone or anything. It is in everything, animates everything, creates everything. There is nowhere God is not. In the Lamsa translation we read “My God, my God, for this I was spared! (born).” Yes! The purpose of his Ministry, his incarnation into a physical body, was to return to the earth plane at the critical juncture between the Old Testament time of “Thou shalt not” in Earth’s evolution and the New Testament time of discernment, God as love, “Blessed are ye” soul’s evolution. He would teach and preach the reasons behind this shift in energy, in understanding about the nature of God and our relationship with that energy. This is not a “one and done” single life experience, it is an evolution through many lifetimes as we follow the ways of the Master Jesus to become fully enlightened beings.
John 19:28 tells us Jesus said, “I thirst.” Scripture goes on to describe a sponge soaked with vinegar was lifted to Jesus. The “rest of the story” says that this action was taken by Judith, the sister of Judas! (As written by Petronius, chief centurion of Pilate). Wow!! We moved from the base chakra actions of Judas, who sold Jesus out for 30 pieces of silver to the heart chakra, the energy of his sister, who is the symbol for the evolving feminine nature in us all. She “bribed the guards”- which tells us in the symbolic language we have come to understand, that she silenced the material mind, the part of us so deeply anchored into the material plane, to serve the/our Christ nature.
The Good Friday story really drives home the point that as we have come to realize, we are all the players in the Bible. All the stories are our story. The Bible itself is our own handbook to higher consciousness.
Luke 23:46 says “Into your hands I commend my spirit,” the words of Jesus which mark the Great Release, the breakthrough. It marks the time when we will move into the chakras above the crown chakra, when we are dwelling in the pure love energy of God—free of all constraints of the physical plane.
Finally, the Master Jesus said in the English Standard Version, “It is finished.” The New Age Bible Interpretation calls this, “The cry of the victorious Initiate.” It is the time of triumphant completion.
When we internalize the Biblical symbolism of Holy Week and Good Friday we can clearly understand that this is our process, one we will experience time and again as we move through our life challenges throughout many lifetimes. It is the process required to awaken that dormant Christ Consciousness within us. The Master Jesus showed us how it’s done, not as someone who died to balance all our karma for us. Where would be the soul growth in that? Instead, he taught us throughout his ministry, Holy Week, Good Friday and beyond to Easter how to be our own saviors. He showed us how to live in the flow of Divine Mind, Divine Order, according to natural and spiritual laws. His Easter gift to us was the ability to navigate this physical plane through the eyes of an awakening Christ.
Blessings to each of you on this Good Friday!
April 5, 2020
Rev. Sandra Spyker
Matthew 21 verses 1-5
1 When he drew near to Jerusalem, he came to Bethpage on the side of the mount of Olives. Jesus then sent two of his disciples,
2 and he said to them, Go to that village which is in front of you, and straightaway you will find and ass which is tied up, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me.
3 And if any man should say anything to you, tell him, Our Lord needs them; and he will immediately send them here.
4 All this happened, so that what was said by the prophet, might be fulfilled, saying,
5 Tell the daughter of Zion, Behold your king is coming to you, meek, and riding upon an ass, upon a colt, the foal of an ass.
When Jesus entered Jerusalem with his disciples they were just a few of the thousands of pilgrims who were coming to the Holy City to celebrate Passover, one of the great annual feasts of the Jewish calendar. Many of these pilgrims recognized Jesus as the man who healed the sick and raised the dead and must have thought that surely this was the promised Messiah. But I don’t think they were hearing and or seeing what Jesus was really trying to tell them. He had not come to save them from the Romans nor had he come to set up a new Israelite Kingdom. He was not the political revolutionary they so desperately wanted him to be. They were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David, Hosanna in the highest”, which means God saves, and they so desperately wanted to be saved from the Romans. But along comes Jesus telling them to love their neighbors and love their enemies. Does this means the Romans? But emotionally and mentally they were still living the Old Testament, “An Eye for an Eye and a Tooth for a Tooth.” They were not ready to hear this. The physical world was just too overpowering to look inward to the eternal spiritual world. But what about the donkey? And why is this prophecy mentioned in all 4 gospels? It was written in Zechariah 9-9 over 480 years before Jesus came riding into town on a donkey, “Behold your King comes to you, he is righteous and a savior, lowly and riding upon a donkey”. So it had to be the truth. Jesus had now fulfilled the prophecy and Jesus’s followers were aware that if you were going to announce war you would arrive on a horse and if you were riding in on a donkey you were announcing a time of peace. It was right in their faces and they just could not accept it. Does that sound familiar? I think one of the first meanings of our scripture is all about denial. The crowd could not accept that Jesus was not here to save them from the Romans. In the same way Peter and the disciples could not accept the idea that Jesus was going to die. The life they knew was coming to an end.
When we experience a great lose, a death, a marriage, a job, let alone our freedom, we sometimes feel we no longer have an identity. So, what can this situation tell us about ourselves? It can show us that, in spite of our best intentions we are willing sometimes to avoid and ignore the signs of change. Again, not only the earth shattering changes, but the little ones as well. And right now we are experiencing a horrendous virus. Almost 3 weeks ago there were many of us that were still in denial. While denial keeps us from feeling pain, sometimes accepting things as they are or need to be may not make that pain we feel go away. At times, we find a need to pretend that the problems in our lives do not exist. Sometimes it is even necessary to do so, but there are other times when it isn’t. Right now we are experiencing major changes. Life as we know it has drastically changed and maybe we feel that there is nothing we can do. But this is the time to move forward. What if we never confront this pandemic? Are we going to follow the new rules?
Suffering is a part of life and we all must struggle with it to varying degrees, but the only true unifying element to the what if’s in our lives is that What we deny has the power to change us.
We would like our spiritual path to be one of bliss, comfort, peace and happiness. Eventually it will be, but we often have to go through darkness and pain before we come to light and joy. And that is what the crucifixion and resurrection is about. It is a message of rebirth. When we are able to get beyond denial and see that something is wrong in our lives. Some of our darkest periods calls us to be reborn into a new way of thinking. Before we can have a resurrection in our life it is almost always preceded by a crucifixion, a situation that is uncomfortable and sometimes even painful. When we are in the midst of this trial, it is hard to imagine that there is something greater happening within us and for us. Yet this is the moment we must hold fast to the idea that our breakdown is simply the vehicle for our breakthrough. We found the power to change.
The second meaning to the scripture is Surrender. Jesus did not come to establish a Kingdom on earth. Jesus came to demonstrate that he was willing to suffer and die and raise up again to show there truly is no separation, that life is eternal. As Metaphysicians this story is all about surrender, letting go and Jesus’s surrender was an act of deepest sort of faith. Palm Sunday opened the door to his total surrender. Jesus was human. Even in the Garden of Gethsemane he tried to deny and reject the terrifying things that were about to happen. But it didn’t work because he knew that life is fluid and ever changing. We too are facing our Garden of Gethsemane. How does surrendering help our peace of mind in these unknown times? Peace of Mind comes from surrendering to all that happens, accepting what is with as much grace as possible. Jesus said, ”this, too shall pass” In other words help us move through this situation with grace. Asking ourselves the big questions; what is our purpose? What is our soul’s journey on this earth? For me the answer is to be that peace, love and joy. Dealing with uncertainty is hard. The reality is that we don’t know the full extent of how this pandemic will affect us personally, as a community, as a nation or globally. So staying aligned with who we are and our core values and reclaiming our peace and calm will help us to do more good particularly in this time. We can deal with the chaos better, we can be a beacon of peace and calm for those around us. You and I know that when we are able to center ourselves in peace and love we are far more able to help ourselves and others. Don’t beat yourself up if you find yourself swirling in the chaotic energy of the times we are living in. This past week I found myself watching too much social media and I could feel I was out of kilter. It was beginning to affect my sleep, mood and my outlook, the news feeds were becoming consuming. During my meditation I got the inspiration to look again at where I could reclaim my peace, As I mulled it over in the bathtub, I decided to limit my time in the news feeds and social media. I can chose to check the news now once a day. This is not easy especially since my mother-In-law loves to watch the news. I can now focus on mindful engagement rather than mindless consumption. It’s so easy to lose an hour or more and not even realize it so I try to be conscious of my engagement with social media. When you find yourself getting pulled into that steady stream of fear, anxiety and anger, stop and take a breath realizing that those emotions are what is filling the collective consciousness of our world right now, and then make a conscious decision to change that mind set and look at the things that help you stay grounded and peaceful.
Even though we may feel helpless at this time we still have choices. Are we going to be Peter and stay in denial? Or are we going to follow the guidelines that have been asked of us by surrendering our own agenda. The only thing I do have control over is my response. I have decided to announce peace and come riding on a donkey.
March 29, 2020
Lent and the 23rd Psalm
Rev. Laura MacLachlan
Do you think the Master Jesus was the only one who has been crucified? We have all been “crucified” at one time or another. We have our Judas figures in our past who betrayed us. We have been the object of scorn or prejudice for the way we think or believe. We die symbolic deaths at the hands of those we may have loved or trusted. Perhaps it was the end of a relationship or the firing from a job we put our heart and soul into. We go through financial catastrophe, or suffer an emotional crisis of some kind. Our life lessons can take many different forms.
We as Metaphysicians strive to see these times as opportunities for our souls to grow, to rise to the occasion. We are called upon to really work at this business of keeping things in perspective, regaining our footing, to rise from the ashes like a Phoenix. We still have to keep moving forward.
We find instruction for surviving and thriving through these harshest of life lessons in the 23rd Psalm. Since we are here in the 5th Sunday of Lent, which as we discussed last week is related to the symbolic number 40 (a time of preparation for a new spiritual awakening) I thought it would be timely to look at that wisdom again.
Let’s assume, like the Master Jesus in his meditations in the Garden of Gethsemane (“Place of pressure”) that we know the axe is going to fall in some area of our life crying out for change. If this were a spread using the Viking Runes, it would be the Signal rune. We heard the pulling of the trigger of the cosmic starter pistol of a new life lesson at hand.
When this happened for the Master Jesus, he said, “If this cup cannot be taken from me, thy will be done.” This change for us, like him, announces the death of something in our lives which is equal to a personal crucifixion. We can easily be in shock–after all—we’re human! Yet action is called for. How do we handle this? It is the nature of our soul’s push toward more light to proceed no matter what. We may grieve, we may be frightened of what might happen next, but our higher self keeps whispering to us, “Go forward.”
Perhaps we go to our Guides in meditation and seek guidance. What if in that silent, sacred space you began to hear the 23rd Psalm?
“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” A Ha! The Lord—the “Law”! Natural Law! We are asked to look to Natural Law to help us find our way out of the darkness of our emotions. It’s a wonderful tool for getting a handle on what we are feeling at a time like this.
“He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside still waters.” Yes! I can rest (Or, according to Dr. Rocco Errico in his Aramaic translations of scripture, “He makes me dwell in pastures of strength.”) Green pastures nourish the flock. This is symbolic for spiritual nourishment. We find food for the soul as we rejoin the flow of Divine Love and Order by letting goes, lying down, resting. When we lie down and rest, we stop resisting the flow of Divine Mind and simply merge with it. It is in this release and submission we find our true spiritual strength. As we do that, the waters of our emotions become still and calm. We become peaceful within our own heart and mind. As we fill ourselves with this inner calm, it is reflected in our perception of our outer reality. We as a being resonate not with turmoil, but with peace and acceptance of the changes at hand. It’s Natural Law at work.
“He restores my soul.” With that foundation in place, we are then prepared to reclaim our place as co creating children of God. We are not just reacting to circumstances out of fear or anger, we are instead becoming calm and centered. Now we can address what is happening from a place of peace and prospective, not emotionality.
“He leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” Now, from this calm, centered prospective, we can see what is brought before us through our spiritual eyes, or from the perspective of an Awakening Christ. A Christed being always works within the parameters of Natural and Spiritual Law. Those laws are the keys to the kingdom! “Right thinking, right action and ethical behavior” in the words of Peggy Barnes, in times of personal pressure is the path of harmony for our highest good. It is the way of Divine Love and Order.
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me.” It is all too human to see such a challenge as this may be as the darkest time in our lives, but we still strive to not backslide in our focus on seeing this challenge as the next perfect step in our soul’s evolution. Can we stay in the flow of Divine Mind? Can we wait for the inspiration to move forward in a positive way? Can we learn more by talking less and instead listening for perfect guidance? Can we allow the universe to work without our efforts to manipulate outcomes prematurely?
“Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” Our security comes from our awareness that Natural Law is always at work. The rod and staff, symbols for self discipline of our own thoughts (our “sheep”) which pushes, blocks, redirects our thoughts about what is happening to positive ones. We live and die by the sword-and the sword is our tongue! What are we “decreeing” about this challenge? That it will “kill” us? That we can never be happy again? Nope. We can’t indulge in putting that kind declaration out on the ethers as our personal truth. Remember, all the way back in Genesis we are given the power to “name things.” If we name it something horrible, so it is. Our own inner rod and staff steers us away from that kind of worst case scenario thinking.
“Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies.” We are called upon to affirm with conviction that in the midst of what may look like a hostile, destructive time in our lives, we can choose to stay in the flow of positive love energy of God and continue to be nourished, inspired, sustained and supported. We can make a conscious choice to remain open and ready for the next step to be impressed upon us. God energy is pure love, creative and perfect. In the face of our trials and tribulations, we are never somewhere God energy is not. We can always begin again.
“Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.” When we are “anointed” in a ceremony, where does it usually happen? Over our third eye! Think of the Christian Church and Ash Wednesday. The smudge goes right on our foreheads, the symbolic place of our third eye. The oil—medium for creation of light, allows our inner vision to become more clear. The wisdom we attain through this life lesson anoints us, like an Ordination, to go forward and share our new found wisdom with others who also struggle with similar problems. We are light bearers for others on the path with us. We are challenged to use what we have acquired to help someone else heal and move forward. “My cup runneth over”—I have no more capacity for further learning until I give some of what I know now away to others.
“Surely thy goodness and mercy shall follow me all of my days and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” This is our ultimate goal. Our life lessons, which we scripted right into our charts for this lifetime, offered us exactly what we needed for our soul’s perfect progression. We now have new tools in our “tool bags” for mastery of the earth plane leading to awakening Christhood. We get closer and closer with every successful outcome. Karma gets balanced, lessons get learned, we find it easier and easier to live in the flow of Divine Love and Order. We find that living the truth of Natural and Spiritual Law becomes more and more effortless, however many lifetimes it takes.
The Master Jesus saw exactly what was ahead in his time in Gethsemane, yet he went forward anyway. He knew he had to finish the final demonstration of his earth plane ministry-the survival of bodily death via crucifixion. We release, or let die, old, out dated ways of thinking and acting with every earth plane lesson we master. Our vibration raises, we are less and less about living out of our lower three chakras with every step. Our mantra becomes “This, too, shall pass. With that, we are transformed.
Blessings to each of you on your journey!
March 22, 2020
Lent- A Time of Preparation, Purification and Revelation
Rev. Laura MacLachlan
We have entered into the Lenten season. It is, for us, a time of preparation for a new level of unfoldment, a new level of understanding. It represents a lengthening of days, the anticipation of new life at hand. Even though there is no sign of “Lent” in the New Testament, there is a hint of this lesson in new levels of spiritual understanding in the color chosen in the Christian church to symbolize this season: Purple, which is the color of our crown chakra. So, we who are trained to look beneath the surface of these spiritual teachings for hidden wisdom, are shown that to fully absorb the lessons of the Lenten season, we are invited to move up into our crown chakra to view the story through our spiritual eyes.
Lent, like so many other monumental events in the Bible, is 40 days long. The Sundays of Lent weren’t counted because they were already feast days. We know from our studies that whenever we see the number 40 we are about to read something about a new spiritual awakening. In numerology, the number 40 reduces to 4—our foundation. The wisdom we are about to receive will allow us to create for ourselves a new foundation for our further spiritual growth. Before we can grow as souls at this point in time, we must have a rock solid foundation in our understanding of our nature as sparks of the Divine. Jesus spoke of Peter, the Apostle who represents “Faith” when he said, “Upon this rock I shall build my church.” Not a literal church building, but the symbolic “church”-a place from which one explores their relationship with and worship of God.
To us, our foundation for unfoldment includes faith in things unseen; even God itself, which we see as a pure love energy and not a person on a throne. We strive to live in the flow of this Divine love energy, as demonstrated so beautifully when Jesus the man attained Christ Consciousness.
When Jesus was contemplating what was to come in the Garden of Gethsemane, he was fully aware that his final physical demonstration, the reason behind all his teachings, was culminating with the survival of bodily death. That human part of us would shudder at the thought of how that would play out. Yet he was able to say, “If this cup cannot be taken from me, thy will be done.” That is the response of a Christed being! It is the embodiment of “faith in things unseen.” It is the kind of faith that has an open hand that does not strive to control or divert from oneself all pain or suffering. There are several theories about when the man Jesus actually attained Christ Consciousness. This is one, the other is while on the cross he said “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.”
The Christian church stresses sacrifice during the Lenten season. What are we willing to “give up” as we prepare for this new awakening? However, we as Divine Spiritual Metaphysicians know this is a symbolic act far more than a literal one. Jesus didn’t attain Christ Consciousness because he gave up Hershey bars for 40 days! It is about giving up one’s belief in the material plane as “all there is.” It is a time of inward preparation. It is a time of clearing one’s mind of outer conditions and return to that sacred space within us where the spark of the Divine awaits so that we might observe our soul’s progression from a higher perspective. Let’s look at some other Biblical examples of this meditative and contemplative time.
Moses and his 40 year search for the “promised land” is an excellent allegory. He led the Israelites, those seeking spiritual enlightenment, out of Egypt, a place where one is enslaved by our lower, material nature, into the Promised Land. That was another way of saying their awakening. Remember, we are EVERYONE in these Bible stories. This is our own process, through many lifetimes. All the struggles, all the accomplishments, all the battles—they are OUR struggles, battles and accomplishments. Ultimately, we are our own Moses for our own Israelite state of consciousness!
Exodus 24:18 talks about Moses going up Mt. Sinai, a “place of higher consciousness” and received the Ten Commandments. What was so significant about going to a mountaintop? He was going into a higher state of consciousness! He was in deep Meditation! Why Ten Commandments? Ten in numerology reduces to one. The number one signifies New Beginnings. A time which called for a new spiritually based understanding of the One God concept. Can you see how that was to be their “new foundation”? The Earth plane at that time was filled with young souls who had to understand first, as their foundation for future spiritual growth, that they had to obey basic rules of civility and spirituality.
Jesus the man “wandered in the desert for 40 days” before the start of his Ministry. He did not immerge from that experience ready for his Ministry because he said “no” to turning rocks into bread! Let’s look deeper…He went into physical “retreat” from the distractions of the material plane. A desert is a place where nothing appearing to be going on there. A blank canvas. The backdrop for “fasting” from physical, daily irritants, ego judgments, destructive patterns. Jesus said, when the thought (not a physical devil) came to him to take a shortcut in this time of contemplation by turning his attention to physical food (bread) instead of the spiritual food found in his deep meditations. He said to himself, “Get thee behind me, Satan!” Satan, “you deceiver you” is our own inner voice of doubt, fear, lower chakra state of being. It wasn’t about food at that moment, it was about focus!
Our last example is Noah and the Flood, which lasted 40 days. This is the first lesson in balance within us to achieve soul growth. Symbolized by the gathering of all the “animals” (our lower chakra, animal nature) we see a balance created in these male and female energies. When the waters of emotion flood our psyches, when we feel like we are drowning in anger, fear or destructive thoughts, we build our “ark” (new foundation) to stay above the fray–ride upon the top of those waters of emotions. It leads us back onto solid footing. Helps us keep our balance when these life lessons come to call.
We will all have our Gethsemane moments in life. Remember Peter, who kept falling asleep when Jesus asked him to stay awake and watch with him through the night? He saw, finally, that Peter couldn’t take this journey with him. He finally said, “Sleep on.” There are times when we hope our friends will be there for us as we go through our life lessons, but that isn’t always possible. We hope our own faith is strong enough to sustain us when the chips are down, but we are a work in progress. There are times when we have to forgive ourselves for our own shortcomings. But the guidance we find all through the Bible says it’s always darkest before the dawn. Remain steadfast. Fast from all the inner turmoil that tries to take our eyes off the goal of soul growth leading to a new spiritual awakening. More light is soon to come. The dove (inner peace) came to Noah bearing a twig of green leaves. New life is at hand.
Our soul essence longs for the time when we return to our Divine Source of all. Biblically, it’s those times when we read of those who “go up in a pillar of light and are no more.” After each new step toward that goal, our soul yearns for more. Standing still is not an option. Lent is not a destination, oneness with God is. Lent is the starting point for another lesson in awakening the dormant Christ potential within us.
Prayer and deep meditation is key to your success. Opening up, listening to that Divine wisdom, becoming one with the energy of All That Is. Wow, does that require focus and self discipline! We work to let go of all the ego stuff that blocks our way. We open our hands and say, “Not my will but thy will be done,” even if it’s just for one day, one hour, one moment at a time.
Then, like our Wayshower, the Master Jesus, we can emerge from that quiet, contemplative time prepared for whatever lies ahead. We can feel like we are more powerful, focused, activated light workers who are ready to serve and fulfill our soul’