We are aware of suffering on the part of many around the world, and our hearts mourn and grieve that suffering. I feel compassion for all those who have become ill, and particularly for those who are passing on. At the same time, I have great appreciation and loving support for all those who are stepping up to be of service. I’m so proud of those who find themselves responsible in whatever way and who are, out of that great sense of responsibility, offering service that is theirs to offer. So, we send our love and support out to all of those, while watchful to see where our own appointed place of service is in these times.
Today I speak words of prayer, especially for this network of people who share The Pulse of Spirit.
May this be a time of Passover. May you all be held safe by the highest love. May you all keep yourselves safe by all the practical things that you do, and by your own spiritual centering and by your own welcoming of the highest love into your heart, into your mind, into your body. And let that love and the light that accompanies it be a shield, and a hedge of radiance. Let the fire of love within us burn hot and burn bright. May we use this as a time of purification, a time of clearer centering, greater opening, greater welcoming of what, at some level, we’ve known all our life. On this day, let it enter in more deeply. May there be a letting go of whatever doesn’t belong for us. May our resilient, loving hearts welcome the highest love, igniting the God Center in us, so that we may use every opportunity we have to give expression to that God Center, so we may find it in ourselves, finding our own soul ever more strongly; and in finding our own souls, find the soul of humanity that seems to have lost its soul. May we help all others to find their soul and the common soul of all humankind.
Today is celebrated as Palm Sunday in the Western Christian world. I’d like to read two verses from the Palm Sunday story in the Book of Luke, which I find so moving. Jesus says this after the Pharisees criticized his followers for praising him as the king.
And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.
And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it.
We might wonder why he wept. He was being applauded as he came in the city. There was a waving of palm fronds, thus the name of this holy day.
Whatever was happening, Jesus had become an instrument for the highest love to come through him. And whatever unclarity there was through people, the vibration of that highest love evoked a response that was irresistible. Even though there was a lack of understanding, even though the situation itself proved dangerous for him, nonetheless, when the highest love shows up it calls for a massive response from the human heart, and from all Creation.
In the story of Easter Week, it is easy to see how followers of Jesus interpreted his great spiritual gift in personal terms. They saw him as a political leader, a king who would rally their nation.
For millennia, religion has tended to take the mystical reality of what we refer to when we use the word God and imprison it in personality; to personalize it. And what happens when we personalize and limit the infinite, the ineffable, and the eternal? We die inside. We cease to live in joy.
We shut down the life force within ourselves.
This has certainly happened right up to this day in the Christian world. Consider this oft-repeated verse from John. It is quoted so often that it is referenced at football and baseball stadiums in the United States by only its chapter and verse—John 3:16.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Of course, this verse has been so personalized—enshrined in the persona of Jesus. It was about him and nobody else, and seemingly, for so many people, the English translation of this verse affirms that personalization.
I want to open the possibility that what Jesus was speaking of was the transcendent and the universal. He was speaking for himself and speaking of the transcendent relative to himself. And so, he knew that the world he inhabited was so loved by the source of his own Being that the highest love was being given through him, and that he himself was given so that that world might know life.
Nowhere did he say that is not true of you or me. I believe he was speaking of the universal, so that, for you or for me, we could well say the same thing. The God that is the source of who I am, that gives me life and meaning, gives me the highest love to share with my world, that my world might truly live. I believe that’s true of every man, woman and child on the face of this planet.
The reality of this gift is behind the lives of service being lived by people around the globe today.
We could think of this in terms of a lifetime—in terms of our incarnation. I believe we came to give the gift of the highest love, latent within us. We came to be the gift of the One who sent us. Jesus was that supreme gift. And all of humankind had the privilege of being in his world and receiving that gift from him if they would. Truly, his gift is resounding in the world even today.
How big is my world? How big is yours? How large is the gift that we have to bring? Certainly, appreciation for the gift he brought causes us to not only adore him and his gift but to give our own.
That gift is the highest love. It is given without expectation or demand, or not at all. It is given without concern for results. It’s given to us that way, and the only way that we can give it is in the same attitude. It is given in each moment with total forgiveness, nothing held back—unrestrained. That is the way the gift is given to us, and that is the only way we can give it to the world.
This verse, paraphrased here, could be seen as relating to our incarnational journey.
For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, or Daughter, that whosoever believeth in them, and the transcendent gift they bring, should not perish, but have everlasting life.
But we could also see it as relating to this day and the opportunity that we have today, and right now in this moment. Did you ever think about that for yourself?
What would it take for me to give the gift I’ve been given to the world?
That gift can be embodied and expressed by a person, and still, it’s not personal. It’s not defined by personality; it is not limited to a person. It is a universal gift, a universal reality. The mystical, transcendent reality of God replicates itself in every human being, and then in all of us together, and in the world that we know together on Planet Earth. It replicates itself throughout the solar system, the galaxy and the universe. Yes, it can be expressed and embodied through a human being, through you and through me, and yet it is not personal. As Jesus said so beautifully:
The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
The words, the embodiment, the action, the love expressed, is of the transcendent reality within us.
When we don’t take things personally, and we don’t take ourselves personally, we touch the ineffable. And the beauty and the wonder of the ineffable, when expressed in physical form, is breathtaking. The reality of the highest love expressed through another person is breathtakingly beautiful in all the shapes and colors of human expression.
It is interesting how the story of Jesus is, for so many, a story of death. The cross of life that had been celebrated for millennia before him was turned into the cross of death. That is what happens when we take things personally. There is no Passover. When we take things personally, we end up crucifying the highest love that is within us and the life that is within us. It doesn’t have a chance to live through us. The ineffable disappears for us.
When we no longer take things personally, there is everlasting life, the only kind of life there is. Human forms, and forms of all kinds, pass away. Life never dies. It is everlasting life, born of the highest love.
Let us allow that highest love to live freely among us because it’s not personalized. It’s not me and it’s not you, at least not as a personality. It is the highest love living in me, the highest love living in you, the highest love that we know in common and that we celebrate on this day. When that highest love is present, reverberating through human consciousness and in the field of energy that we share together as human beings, then indeed it is true: the very stones cry out. Even the stoniness of human hearts feels that reverberation in its midst.
Let us move forward in the faith of this knowing. Knowing brings faith, and faith brings hope.