On Monday, Sunrise Ranch held its first Community Session in a long time. Here we are, as a spiritual community of about 65 people in Loveland, Colorado. Like people worldwide, we have been meeting virtually on Zoom, not in person, during the global pandemic. The difference is that we are a residential community—we live together, yet we hadn’t been meeting in person.
With the decrease in coronavirus cases in Colorado, we came together on Monday. Many of us have known each other for years, and then there are others who are newly arrived. In our session, we had four iterations of small groups, with five in a group. Each time the configuration of the group changed.
In each small group, we had a conscious conversation about our community. The dialogue was enlightening. And we had an exciting social interaction, all imbued with this delight of seeing each other in person. It was great! It was really great!
I had the tremendous feeling that the pandemic is over. It is over!
There were times when it did not feel like it would ever be over. But it is over. And I know, realistically, there is a flare-up in Europe; there could be a rise in cases here, and in some parts of the world, cases are rising. And still, for me and for us, it is over. We are getting on with our lives and leaving the pandemic behind.
There were certainly times during the pandemic when it seemed like it would never end. It would subside and return. There was all the tragedy of it. I lost close friends; others were seriously affected. It was tragic to see hospital workers in the position they were in, so overwhelmed with cases that they couldn’t keep up, putting their own lives at risk.
It was hard to imagine that it would be over, but in some part of us, we knew it would be. And now it is. You could feel silly for any lack of faith, for any moment when you did not really believe it would ever be over.
Reflecting on our experience, I thought of something else in our world today, the war in Ukraine. In the manifest world, the war is not over. They are in the thick of it, with all the horror of war, with war crimes committed daily against the civilian population by the Russian army. And it seems like it will get worse before it gets better.
From a realistic, practical standpoint, the war is not over. And yet, if you listen to the voices of the Ukrainian people, they have faith that it will be over. If you listen to their president, he has faith that the invaders will be driven from their door, that they will rebuild Ukraine, and they will thrive again. In their hearts, it is over, and they feel the victory to come.
What word would you use to describe that attitude—the attitude that knows the “over-ness” of calamity, even when it is not over? The first word that comes up for me is faith. Another is resilience. For sure, Ukrainians are resilient people. When we have faith, we become resilient.
Another word I think of is grace. Isn’t grace knowing the over-ness of all that is destructive, even when it is manifest in the world around you?
On Tuesday, three European prime ministers got on a train to Kyiv and met with President Zelenskyy. Among the topics they considered was the rebuilding of Ukraine. Amazing! That’s faith! Yes, they talked about what to do with the current situation. But beyond that, they had such faith in the resurgence of Ukraine that they were planning how to rebuild it and how Europe might assist in that rebuilding.
We are here, as Emissaries of Divine Light, to know these qualities of faith, resilience, and grace—to know them for ourselves and our own lives in the middle of whatever is happening for you and for me. But also to have enough of this experience to share with the collective endeavor that we are engaged in. And then to have enough to bring faith to the world—faith in our future, faith that all we are traversing as a human race will be over, and that there is life abundant to share. We are not waiting to share that life and that abundance. We know it now.
Reflecting on these things reminded me of John, who wrote the Book of Revelation. For any who are not familiar with him, he was a disciple of Jesus who held true, through thick and thin.
When Jesus left, something wondrous happened among his followers. But they became fractious and calamitous.
The Roman Empire persecuted the early Christians. John was not exempt from that. The Romans exiled him to Patmos, a tiny Greek island close to Turkey.
In his manifest world, there was calamity for John. But while exiled on Patmos, he wrote a fantastic book, the Book of Revelation. If you read through it, each verse is astonishing. There are all kinds of symbolism that people have wondered about. As I read it, what is so amazing to me is this man who had a vision of all the calamity passing away in the human experience. He saw humankind coming to a place of thriving and prospering. And he saw the path to get there. He wrote that vision in this most imaginative fashion. I would like to read a few of the words from the twenty-first chapter, beginning with the fourth verse:
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. (Revelation 21:4-6)
It is done. Here was a man who had a vision of it being over when it was not over.
So on this Sunday morning, I ask you: Can you feel the over-ness? Can you say, It is done in me?
Can you feel the calamity ending? Can you feel our thriving? Can you feel our new life as humankind? Do you know it in the middle of all that might be happening in your life, for us collectively, this body of people, and for the world?
Contemplating these words from Revelation, I marvel at John’s genius, foresight, and prophecy. How amazing! Having gone through all he did, this man in exile allowed a prophetic vision to pour out of him, however fantastically described.
Then I thought of myself and of you. He was there to play his part in the way he did, and I am here to play my part in a way only I can do. And you—you are a hero of today, here to play your part in a way that only you can do.
So together, we can say truly, I am here for this. This is my day.
Good to be in this day with you and to bring all that we have to bring, because if we each do that in our unique way, that establishes our togetherness. We are not together as a herd of people trying to become physically close. We are all answering the call of our soul, and we are together in that. We know our unity in answering that call.
So may it be, and so it is.