Come Gather In His Name

Fresh Thinking, Inspiration, and Vision on the Process of Spiritual Transformation

(Previn Hudetz offered preservice music on piano. Carol Travis welcomed the stations online. Will Omega played his Native American double flute.)

My wife, Ruth, and I are here to attend the Trustee sessions that are under way at the moment, and we’ll be moving into the Open Sessions later on in the week. On our way from South Africa, traveling via England, we attended another couple of gatherings. First was a weekend with our Emissary friends from around Europe, and then a couple of days attending the Spiritual Leadership Forum in London. When Ruth and I get back home, within a day we’ll be attending yet another gathering of about two hundred people, called “Free Wheeling,” which is a gathering of diverse people who come together every year for a few days to celebrate ecological awareness and share concerns and care for the earth and various aspects of sustainable energy and water management.

So I was caused to ponder: All these gatherings—my life at this time seems to be full of gatherings. It feels like there is some deeper meaning for this phenomenon of people getting together to do something. What does it mean for me to be moving from one gathering to another? Is there a larger purpose than was obvious from the stated intent of each individual event?

Each gathering had its own particular purpose and intention. Our meeting with Ruth, myself and David Karchere in England with our Emissary friends had to do with a further exploration of what it means to be Emissaries, to bring a greater magnification of spirit through being together and to discover new creative collective potential into the future. A common interest and a common purpose in spirit is a powerful thing to celebrate and continue exploring.

After that excellent time with our friends, we moved on to be with the people in London who had responded to Tessa Maskell’s invitation to the Spiritual Leadership Forum, many of whom we hadn’t met before. But again, with a strong shared purpose, a strong field of agreement that we felt almost immediately as we gathered together for the two days, things settled very quickly into a vibrant, radiant, pregnant atmosphere. We started without any fixed agenda and we discovered what it was that was ours to do as we continued moving into the time. It was really exciting—new friends, new connections, different perspectives, new emerging awareness of what it was that we could do together with people outside of an Emissary context. It’s a reminder that there are many people out there who are providing something of healing and blessing in their worlds, and to support and be supported by them is very empowering for all concerned.

Then, moving into our Trustee gathering here at Sunrise Ranch, with no pre-established agenda, bringing open hearts and minds through which spirit might indicate purpose and opportunity, we soon started discovering what it was that we could most usefully be considering and exploring together. So far, it has been a profoundly creative and loving time. And, of course, the Open Sessions are yet to show themselves—I’m excited by that prospect; and then on to being with friends in South Africa.

There are many different types of gatherings that happen in the world, many apparent reasons for people either gathering together geographically or agreeing to be in some sort of shared purpose together. I’m thinking of the world of politics being one of them; sports is another very obvious one. People gather in the thousands and tens of thousands to enjoy and either celebrate or mourn together the winning or the losing side, whichever one they’ve chosen to relate to. There’s national identity; borders are created to say, “This is where we live and that is where you live; this is our identity, and that’s your identity, on the other side of that border.”

There’s the purpose of worship together, such as here this morning in the Dome and in countless other places in our world—people gathering to magnify and honor spirit in their particular ways. Maybe on the other end of the spectrum, war—people gathering together on the battlefield to assert their will by force on another gathering of people. Then there are virtual gatherings. I’m aware that this evening many of us will be enjoying watching the Academy Awards. I don’t know how many millions of viewers that draws around the world every year, but I know it’s substantial; a very large number of people share this time together in what might be called a virtual gathering.

So each gathering that we can see happening in our worlds has its apparent purpose and intent. Each one with its own unique venue, such as, for us this morning, this beautiful Dome—always beautifully prepared and decorated, a fitting place to worship together. I have no doubt that the venue for the Oscars tonight will be very glitzy and will have been carefully prepared and would have cost probably a lot of money to put together. In our two gatherings in England, the venues that we found ourselves in were relatively simple; with the touch of a candle and a green bough or a flower, something was set that said, “This is a special place.” And again, on the other end of the spectrum, places like the battlefields of Afghanistan and the borders of Pakistan are venues for that particular choice of human action.

I remember the first line of one of our Emissary songs: “Holiness to the Lord, come gather in His Name.” We extend that invitation into our worlds, particularly on a Sunday morning. I’m extending that invitation right now to those in this Dome and to those online. Many of you I know already; we have been associated for many years and, because of that, we share a common language and understanding. So I trust that we understand what I’m referring to when I use the words His Name. But there are others in our world who are open to the impulse of spirit in this moment that might not share the same understanding. So I’d like to use this poem that David Karchere wrote to describe this One in whose name we gather, so that others beyond the Emissary context might not be excluded from this experience.

I am the voice of Being,
Speaking in human hearts and minds.

I am the living Word,
Creative vibration born in the highest heaven.

I am the sacred presence
Which lives at the heart of all creation.

I have more faces than there are rocks in the desert,
Or stones on the ocean beach.

I have been here many lifetimes
Through all history and before.

I am born again with each baby who comes into the world,
With each inspired thought,
Every longing for home.
And I am present with each one as they leave.

I am the voice of Being,
The sacred presence of the One Who Dwells.

I call all people,
All lands,
All kingdoms,
To my spirit.

I invite all hearts to melt,
All consciousness to turn
To face me and know me as I am.

I am heard by the innocent,
By the open hearted,
By the one who is not too proud,
Nor too humble to see my face.

I am heard by those who know
That human effort,
Human belief,
Human feeling
Alone is futile.

And that all understanding,
All compassion,
All power,
And life itself
Abide in me.

I am your voice,
And the true voice of every man,
Every woman,
Of all human being.

Hear me,
Know me,
Embrace my spirit,
Your spirit, now.
Be me in human flesh.

I am the voice of Being,
The sacred presence of the Living God.

I trust that if there was any doubt about who we were referring to before we heard those words, it’s really clear now. So I pose this question: What if the true purpose of all gathering, anywhere, was really to come in the name of spirit, whatever the apparent intent might seem to be? And what if the ultimate venue for the gathering of humankind was this whole planet? It really doesn’t take much to see it that way, but it does take something. It takes a change in consciousness: how we choose to see what we do, what we create, where we create it, and what the consequences of our creations are.

So in this gathering right here, right now—some of it virtual across the telephone lines and some of it in person right here in this Dome—there is an invitation that we can extend to all people, who are doing things in all kinds of different names, to finally realize what it’s actually really all about, whatever it is that is chosen to be the function. We can do that, and I believe we must do that, because this is what we are about as Emissaries of Divine Light: It is extending the invitation, in many different ways, but particularly by the way we live our own lives, to see and accept that it is all the Lord’s. Any business, any endeavor is all about the Lord’s business, no matter what shape it might take, no matter what form it seems to have. It is all the Lord’s.