“What do we really believe?”
This is the question I asked the participants in the New Testament Class we are currently running, to ponder on, the previous week; and I must say we had some very interesting and worthwhile discussion. So… what do we believe? In order to perhaps illustrate my point in the lesson today, I am going to begin with a story that many of you are familiar with, and then use an analogy to take us further in understanding.
A man was stuck on his rooftop in a flood, and prayed to God for help. A man in a rowing boat came along and shouted to the man on the roof, “Jump in, I can save you.” The man on the roof shouted back, “No, it’s alright, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me.” So the boat went on. The same happened when he had the opportunity to be taken to safety by a motorboat and then a helicopter. The man drowned, went to Heaven, and said to God: “I had faith in you but you didn’t save me, you let me drown. I don’t understand why!” To this God replied, “I sent you a rowboat and a motorboat and a helicopter, what more did you expect?”
Perhaps we can relate to this story and look back and realize there may have been times when we too have turned “God” away because we have not been awake, alert, or aware (or even ready to accept) the assistance in the way it is presented. How often have we said, or heard others say, “I need help,” but there has always been an excuse or…. “not in that way,” we say. Do we get too caught up and involved in our own specifics? And these ideas/specifics to which we hold are the concepts which we have collected, or allowed to impact us over and over through the years; and most of the time we do have difficulty in dropping our attachment to them. When we hold onto these gathered and stored ideas and concepts, they in a way, act as a blindfold to Truth. We cannot “see” past them. So we need to take time to sort through what it is we really do believe; and our concepts of Life.
Do we have faith in these beliefs that we believe we have, and what does it mean in our daily lives? As Paul and James state, in their respective ways, in New Testament scripture: “Faith without works, is dead.” Before investigating this, let us look at the analogy I referred to earlier, relating to the story of the man in the flood. As I was preparing this lesson I began to realize just how much we are like that guy and obviously this is a generalization.
What is happening around us in the world, and I am not going to get caught up, or side-tracked in details, is an opportunity to actually stop and ask ourselves: “What do I believe, and how can I make a difference?” Let me just clarify for a moment, that we are not isolated individuals; (even though at times this may be what we feel) we all are part of, and in fact participate in, mass consciousness.
Whatever we believe, whatever concepts we hold, whatever reactions, responses, or attitudes we face life with, go into the mix of mass consciousness. It is all energy. So…. “they” get up in arms about something that another group do not agree with; and then “they” also retaliate at the same, perhaps heated level, and chaos reigns in the world. Note at this point though: chaos never reigns in Spirit!
Having said all that let me get back to the analogy. And, you all know this story too; in fact it features more in our lives than many others, and has done for many years. It is the story of Jesus! So you may be wondering: “How can this have anything to do with that guy sitting on the roof in the flood?”
Jesus was our way-shower and teacher; but we have made Him (the man, Jesus) the canoe, the motor boat, and the helicopter. We have missed the point when we look to the man, who repeatedly informed us through his teachings, that all are one in God our Father, and it was through his teachings and the Christ Consciousness that we will be saved from drowning in ignorance. Christ Consciousness is accessible to all and is the doorway to the Kingdom within.
When we turn away from this (not necessarily even intentionally); but are distracted by what is going on, around us, then we mistakenly look to the Man, Jesus, and forget about the Spiritual Principles he gave us that are applicable in any situation, by anyone, anywhere. We are all one in Spirit, and yet so often we hold to the mistaken identity of this Man, Jesus, who is put forward as the exception to mankind, through our non-understanding of the term: only begotten Son. The Christ Consciousness is the only begotten Son in each of us. And I quote now briefly from the Divine Science Text Book of Basic Principle: Jesus’ disciples accepted the fact that Jesus knew that what was true for him was also true for all mankind, for it was John who said, “As he is, so are we in this world.” 1 John 4:17
Through the guidance of the Christ Spirit within we are awakened to the spirit of all Good. This Christ Consciousness is the fullness of the riches of divine Mind active in our souls. The attainment of Christ Consciousness is our goal. [end quote] So after all this…. what do we believe, and are we putting it all into practice? In Scripture we are told that faith without works is dead.
Emma Curtis Hopkins clarified this by stating it thus: “works are the activity of faith, not effort.” In the book, Unveiling your hidden power – a compilation transcribed from her published works, by Ruth L. Miller, she states: “The Spiritual or Real world is not changed by our words or thoughts; it is the same changeless good yesterday, today, and forever. All our faith and all our reasoning simply open our eyes to the Real world. So we have nothing to do, for in the Spiritual world, which is the Real world, all is perfect. The highest working power is the power to see that we have nothing to do.” (End quote)
For some that may seem very odd and somewhat radical, so let us check this out. We may at times feel that we need to be seen to do “good works.” And certainly there is a place for us to assist and aid and be compassionate in life. Understand that God has already done the work, and our real work is to see and realize that we need to honour and acknowledge in gratitude, the truth of our being. Jesus’ incarnation was not so he could stand on a pedestal and expect to be idolized and worshipped. No, it is Truth that we revere as we understand the Teacher; and the teachings.
So… to work then…BEING WHO AND WHAT WE ARE IN TRUTH. When we are consciously aware of this and make time for quiet contemplation and meditation, we are answering the question: what does the world need right now in these times of upheaval and seeming chaos?… ultimately participating in the solution. First in mind, then in manifestation – all love and harmony, recognition and respect for ourselves and others, begins within individual consciousness. On the human/world stage, we lose the plot, when we lose God.
SUNDAY SERVICES: All are welcome to join us each week as we take time to Be Still, in Silent Meditation, and then share a Lesson in Truth Principles. NB. Childcare is available if you phone us on Friday before 10:00am to arrange.
Meditation – 09:30 to 09:45
Service – 09:45 to 10:30
SPEAKERS – MAY:
03 Rosemary Batchelor
10 Rev. Mallory Kretzmann
17 Rosemary Batchelor
24 Sylvia van Zyl
31 Rev. Mallory Kretzmann
CD. ORDERS OF THE SUNDAY LESSONS: CD’S are available to order of the Sunday Lessons and to avoid a backlog of unclaimed orders, R20-00 is payable at time of ordering.
MEDITATION: A reminder that the Sanctuary is open for meditation during our office hours which are Tuesday to Friday, 09:00 until 13:00.
CLASSES: Our Divine Science – Bible New Testament Class concluded this past week. Do watch the notice board for a forthcoming study group on “Lessons in Truth”, based on the book by H. Emily Cadie.
“NEW ROOM” PROJECT: Since we moved into our “new home” at the end of August 2013, we have:
• painted the foyer and Sanctuary,
• we have put in carpeting throughout,
• cupboards were removed giving more space in the sunroom/classroom,
• lighting was upgraded in the kitchen, sunroom/classroom and Sanctuary,
• an electronic lock was put on the security gate,
• shelves were put up and our new library space created.
• Improvements in the garden
This just lists some of what has been achieved. Now we are moving on, very enthusiastically to our project of converting our double garage into a new space for workshops, yoga classes, functions etc. There will be the odd fundraiser for this, and any ideas you may have, please do share them. Watch the notice board for further and ongoing information.
ACT MEMBERSHIP: We thank those who have responded so positively to renewing and continuing their membership. Please do let us know should your contact details change as this assists us in keeping our records updated.
WORKPARTY AND BRAAI: Planned for Saturday 16 May, notices have been sent out and details are on the notice board.
ACT ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING: The meeting is scheduled for Sunday 07 June, after the Service. A formal notice, from the Board will be sent to members.
DR. SALAZAR’S VISIT:
We are really looking forward to having Dr. Al Salazar and his wife, Marcella, with us next month. Dr. Salazar will be presenting the Lesson at our Thanksgiving Service on Sunday 21 June. The next newsletter will have necessary details.
“The present moment is always full of infinite treasure. It contains more than you have the capacity to hold. The Will of God presents itself at every instant, like an immense ocean. Your heart will receive of the Ocean the measure to which it can expand itself, by faith, confidence, and love.”