For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
During this month and this time of Advent, I have exploring this concept of THE GIFT. We talked about expecting a gift in any situation or condition. Las week we spoke about receiving the GIFT and today, I would like to explore the notion of NURTURING the gift. Not only we will talk about nurturing the gift, but also how can we nurture the gift.
By now, it should be pretty clear that the gift is not a material gift. Rather, the gift is non other than the Presence of God in us, around us, and through us.
Jesus told us, Seek first the Kingdom of God and its righteousness and ALL THESE THINGS would be added onto us. The Kingdom of Heaven, according to Charles Fillmore is the realm of Divine Ideas, the realm of infinite possibilities.
I find it interesting that the Hebrews for hundreds of years were expecting a liberator, a political Messiah that would free them from the oppression of the Romans. Instead, their political Messiah came in the form of a baby, that grew up to be Spiritual Master that taught about the presence of God and about compassion and love among human kind.
So, how are we going to connect with this Kingdom of God, with this realm of Infinite potential, with his kingdom of infinite possibilities? There is only one way. THROUGH PRAYER.
Now, PRAYER, might mean something different to different people. However, there is perhaps a definition of prayer that we can all agree with. I call it a (PPT) Conscious Awareness of the Presence and the Activity of God,in all, through all and as all. That form of prayer becomes an attitude rather than a specific act such as reciting prayers, repeating affirmations, using beads, chanting or whatever. Mind you, there is absolutely nothing wrong with any of those things, as long as we do them in and from that awareness of the presence of God.
Another thing to consider is that awareness assumes that the person is not praying TO God, as an entity that is separate, but rather FROM that awareness of a living presence in which live, move and have our being.
Now, because we are looking at this awareness as THE GIFT, we are going to value, and protect that gift, by staying close to it and not letting it go. And the only way that such a thing is possible is by nurturing our prayer life and making it a priority. Everything we do, should be in this awareness.
How to we consciously and intentionally enter into this awareness? Perhaps the text from Isaiah can help us to relate to God as the Divine Presence that God is.
In Unity we teach that God is unchanging principle, however to the individual consciousness, God can express as the energy (archetype ?) that we need at that particular time.
Isaiah referred to this awareness as, (PPT) Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
These names can serve as a guide for us to relate to the Infinite Presence of God. If we are in need of guidance, we might think of God as Wonderful Counselor. If we feel that we need nurturing or protection, Mighty God or Everlasting Father might be a way in which we choose to relate to God at that particular moment. If the situation in our lives has something to do with the apparent lack of harmony in a given situation, maybe to think of God as Prince of Peace might be a good idea. In another part of the text, Isaiah uses the name Immanuel, which literally means GOD WITH US or GOD AMONG US, indicating that we are never alone or separate from God.
Now in order to get into this place of a conscious awareness of the presence of God. We need to travel a very short distance, roughly, 18 inches. It is the distance FROM THE HEAD TO THE HEART.
It is necessary to let go of the intellect and connect from our heart where the center of spirituality resides.
I find it interesting that John the Baptist, which some refer as the one who prepared the way for Jesus, when someone asked him if HE was the Messiah that they were expecting, he replied: I MUST DECREASE SO HE CAN INCREASE. What does that mean?
According to the Metaphysical Bible Dictionary, John the Baptist represents the Illumined Intellect. He represents that part of our consciousness that GETS IT; but it gets it UP HERE (HEAD) It is the part of our consciousness that does not necessarily has INTERNALIZED the truth and taken it all the way to the heart. Jesus, on the other hand, represents, the Christ within. The energy of the Christ within is located in our LOVE CENTER, which is the physical heart. That is why I walked you through that exercise last week which we are about to do again. I guarantee you that if you get used to praying by taking a few seconds and making that HEART CONNECTION, your life will change for the better.
So I must decrease so he can increase, means that our intellectual analyzing needs to diminish so our heart centered awareness can grow and increase.
Let’s do the exercise for just a moment. Take a second to get comfortable……. Take a few deep breaths…..Place your hand over your heart and begin to breathe into that area, as though you were breathing through your heart muscle. INHALE……..EXHALE.
I AM NOW IN THE PRESENCE OF PURE BEING
“I am now in the Presence of pure Being, immersed in the Holy Spirit of Life, Love, and Wisdom. I acknowledge Thy presence and power, O blessed Spirit. In thy Divine Wisdom now erase my mortal limitations. From Thy pure substance of Love, bring into manifestation my world according to Divine Law.”
One last thing. The Apostle Paul invited us to pray without ceasing. First, we cannot enter into a genuine awareness of the presence of God if we are holding resentment or a grudge towards someone, something or even to ourselves.
There is a place in Scripture that says that before we bring an offering to the altar, if we have a resentment towards our brother, to go and seek reconciliation first and then come back and place your offering at the altar.
We need to be walking prayers. And How do We become a WALKING Prayer? ELEMENTARY MY DEAR WATSON. We become a walking prayer when we share with others the
gifts of JOY, PEACE, POSITIVITY,FORGIVENESS,
NON-JUDGEMENT, AND COMPASSION.
We have expected the gift, we have received the gift, Now we know how to nurture the gift. During our Candlelight services we will embrace the energies of expecting, receiving and nurturing as we embody the different characters in the Christmas story. Then we simply can BECOME THE GIFT, which is what our Candlelight service is all about. I hope to see you all Tuesday Night. Merry Christmas.