This, has been an interesting week. It was filled with events, four specific events. Two of them planned and scheduled. The other two, were un-planned and unexpected.
First, I had a surgical procedure on Tuesday, to remove a cataract from my left eye. I am still having fun with this because for the first time, since I was 7 years old, I can see out of that eye, without glasses, colors are brighter, etc. The second event is a three-day pastor’s conference that took place in the Disney area. Alinda and I can’t wait to share with you some of the things that we learned there. But, more on that later. Unexpected was having to rush out of the conference on Friday to officiate at the funeral of friend who made his transition earlier this week. And the other thing was that the alternator of my car died, when I was coming back from that funeral
Why am I telling you this? Well, because this Life in which we live, move and have our being gives us the illusion of being a series of ups and downs. And when I say illusion, I know that those illusions appear very real, such as the pain we suffer, when we experience a loss. But that is part of our human experience. But the omnipresent LIFE itself is unchanging principle, and we are in IT and IT is in us.
H. Emily Cady, in her classic, Lessons in Truth has this to say about God:
(PPT) God is the name we give to that unchangeable, inexorable principle at the source of all existence. To the individual consciousness God takes on personality, but as the creative underlying cause of all things, He is principle, impersonal; as expressed in each individual, He becomes personal to that one–a personal, loving, all-forgiving Father-Mother.
Cady, H. Emilie). Lessons in Truth
Today, we are addressing the one of our 5 fundamental tenets and that is that God is Omnipresence, Omnipotence and Omniscience, meaning, everywhere present, all power and all knowledge.
Years ago when I identified myself to a patient as the chaplain, he tried to dismiss me by saying, “I don’t believe in God”, to which I replied, “I don’t either” We had a very nice conversation where we both agreed that neither one of us believed in the human God in the sky taught and portrayed by religion. Neither one of us believed in a God that punished some people while favoring other’s etc.
If you think about it. One one end you have one of the three major religions teaching that you are not allowed to pronounce the name of God. A whole theology was build around that concept.
They even came up with a name that is all consonants so God’s name cannot be pronounced.
Now, there are other religions that teach that the way to enlightenment is by spending hours at a time chanting the name of God.
But the bottom line is that any time that we utter the name of God is that we end up, creating a concept, creating and image, forming a visual, perhaps, of what God is.
And that visual is the result of filters implanted in our consciousness by our upbringing, the church that we grew up in and any experiences, positive or negative that we may have had, concerning the Divine.
To make things more complicated ALL MAJOR RELIGIONS teach that God is OMNIPRESENT. Now, either themselves do not know the meaning of the word omnipresence or they do not make any serious effort in explaining what that word really means.
Webster’s define omnipresence as present everywhere at the same time: the omnipresent god.
Perhaps one of the reasons that traditional religions have not emphasized God’s omnipresence is because that would necessarily put them in a position to admit that God is as much part of the other religions as it is part of their own religion.
Who knows? Maybe if they had that awareness, God would be a God of U N I T Y. No pun and no plug intended here.
It is sad to think that many if not all of the differences between the countries of the world, differences that have resulted in people going to war, are based on the premise that OUR GOD is better than your God. The Dalai Lama has said that before there can be peace in the world, there must be peace between the religions of the world.
So how do we solve this problem. How do we bridge this gap of separation that we ourselves have created.
What if the phrase “God is all that is” were literally true? This is what R. Buckminster Fuller must have understood when he said, “God, to me, it seems, is a verb not a noun.”
Now, I am not sure if Buckminster Fuller is the first one that thought of God as a verb. Probably not. As a matter of fact, that is precisely why the opening lines of the Gospel according to John read.
In the beginning was the word
WORD – LOGOS VERBO
Let’s explore this a little bit deeper. As long as we think of God as a Noun, we are establishing a Gap between Creator and created.
However if instead, we think of God as a verb then, we think in terms of this awesome SPIRIT, HIGHER POWER, ENERGIZING FORCE that is at work everywhere, in everything and in every person. And if we enter into the realization that this SPIRIT is LOVE, LIFE, WISDOM, UNLIMITED, POWER AND SUBSTANCE, then we must also enter into he realization that those attributes, are also present and active everywhere, in everything and in every person. How about if we saw and felt this HOLY PRESENCE in the very air we breathe, in the words we hear, in everything we do and say We we be consciously aware that since, we are part of the essence of of God, we would be lost without it.
This realization would bring us to the conclusion that anytime we perceive a lack of any of those things, a lack of love, a lack of life, a lack of wisdom or lack of unlimited power and substance, is precisely our OWN PERCEPTION OF LACK of these attribute. There cannot be lack of any of these things in the Omnipresent Spirit that God is.
You, know we can go on and on trying to come up with and explanation of what God is and that of itself is not possible.
But the thought of this has led me to revise my own mission of a minister and ultimately the mission of this church.
You know, traditional churches say that their mission is get people to repent and make a decision for Jesus Christ and get saved. Well, the interesting thing is that people come to traditional churches and some, end up repenting or changing their ways and their lives are changed for the better, most of the time. I hope. And churches, measure that by the number of baptisms, conversions, etc. We do not have a lot of that here, but hear me out.
I can translate that some of that to Unity terms, very easy.
The word repent literally means, “to change your thinking”.
Yes, our mission is to get us to change our perception and stop thinking of God as a human God and us as separate from God. As far as a decision is concerned, how about if our mission was: (PPT) “To awaken Truth seekers to a full awareness of their divine nature and to equip them with the tools necessary to think, feel, and act from that awareness.” Now the question might be, can we measure our effectiveness as a church. Are lives being touched and transformed here? That is a question to ponder
I submit to you, that awakening to this full awareness requires action on our part. It’s bringing the activity of God (The Verb) into full awareness into our lives. How do we act from our divine awareness? How do we interact from each other from our divine awareness? How do we handle our finances from our divine awareness?
So here is the Next Step we all need to take this week.
The Next Step
1.Commit to praying a minimum of 5 minutes every day about God as omnipresent Spirit in your life.
2. Meditate on the question: How can I act from the awareness of God being in me, around me and in everyone and everything.
3. Plan to attend next Sunday lesson and bring a friend to church.
Nike was right when they came up with the slogan, JUST DO IT. An that is the title of next Sunday’s lesson (Seandrea)