Saturday, March 22, 2008
Easter message for you.
We finally thought Spring was here after a long, cold winter. For a day or two, we could even see the grass again! My son was so delighted by the Spring rain last week that he said it filled him with the love of God. How often does a Mother hear such a beautiful statement from a 10 year old? However, we awoke on Good Friday to a winter wonderland! 6-8 inches of fresh, fluffy new snow. It was too beautiful and magical for me to be upset about it but we are anxiously anticipating the return of the green and all the beauty and wonder and rebirth that Spring brings us!
This is a week to proclaim our Christianity or whereever we stand in our spirituality. No wussy neutrality this week. Soon it will be the time for Jewish friends to embrace the mystery of Passover.
If you are a traditional Christian or a non traditional Christian as I am, do you find that it is becoming a difficult or at least awkward thing to pronounce? If so, why? If you are a traditional or non traditional Jew or a traditional or non traditional Muslim do you find it more and more difficult to profess your faith to those outside your faith circle? Is it because you do not know yourself what your faith is?
A terrific in depth article in USA TODAY shows us the shift that is occuring in our spiritual identities:
A new map of faith in the USA shows a nation constantly shifting amid religious choices, unaware or unconcerned with doctrinal distinctions. Unbelief is on the rise. And immigration is introducing new faces in the pews, new cultural concerns, new forces in the public square. The U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, released by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, documents new peaks, deepening valleys and fast-running rivers of change in American religiosity
Key findings from the survey:
•Faith is fluid: 44% say they're no longer tied to the religious or secular upbringing of their childhood. They've changed religions or denominations, adopted a faith for the first time or abandoned any affiliation altogether!
•"Nothing" matters: 12.1% say their religious identity is "nothing in particular," outranking every denomination and tradition except Catholics (23.9%) and all groups of Baptists (17.2%).
The report (online at Pewforum.org) sorts people into major groupings: Christian (78.4%); other religions (4.7%) including Jewish (1.7%) and Muslim (0.7%); and "unaffiliated" (16.1%), which includes atheist (1.6%), agnostic (2.4%) and "nothing in particular."
•Nearly 20% of all men and 13% of all women are unaffiliated. So are 25% of adults under age 30.
•The major Christian denominations are losing numbers fast. Only non-denominational churches showed growth outpacing losses.
These overall findings are parsed to a fine degree by being broken down into nearly 250 faiths and traditions!
And so the questions that I have delved into over the past few years and especially this winter are unfolding for many of us it seems.
What is happening to our Faith and how can we keep that which works for us while exploring or even creating new avenues to deepen our spirituality at the same time?
For us non traditional Christians I believe we are seeking a deeper meaning for the rituals we've always practiced and known. We resent and do not identify with the word "religious" but embrace our Individual expression of Spirituality even if that includes many traditional practices. Energetically the dogma and doctrine of "have to", that much of traditonal religious practices, presents a stifling lower vibration of energy. Yet we struggle to maintain the pieces that DO work within our religious traditions. I still attend Mass regularly and especially enjoy the energy of the all school Childrens services at my child's Catholic school. I enjoy seeing the lights go down in the morning and the children praying with their classmates and I balance out the doctrine at home with our own teachings. I have found a profoundly fulfilling weekly prayer group with tremendous women that I feel I can be myself with to share my unique faith journey with in sacred honesty and courage. In fact that is where it all started for me to meld parts of my past with new parts that have arisen and all that I have become NOW in my spiritual journey. Spirit surprised me in the Revelation that this gathering of Light occurred in the traditional spaces I had been contemplating leaving behind.
Spirit may surprise you too if you choose to listen and follow God's will not your own.
This holy week I spent some time meditating and reading the Magdalen Manuscripts. I should note I always approach any channeled material with great discernment and use my own guides and clairsentinance as my guide. But the very first time I read this lengthy series of channels from Tom Kenyon and Judy Sion I felt a higher vibrational presence. And because it is easy to merely focus on Jesus and His love for us this week, I also felt called to recognize Mary M and the role she played in his life and his Resurrection. But, the reason I share it with you in relation to this topic of change is that ultimately the more I dive deeper in Scripture, into my own meditations, into traditional teachings, the more I realize how little we may know some 2,000 years later. And I think for those of us that are expanding our consciousness in these times, we recognize perhaps for decades now that that is the greatest danger of following a strict doctrine without question. And yet, we are looking to be grounded in a purposeful direction and Truth not the ever changing and uncertain guidance of gurus and New Ageness ascension theories.
Be watchful. Seek Truth. Ask what do you REALLY know of your faith and what more do you wish to know?
Mary says in the Manuscript "Many legends abound as to what happened. But for me it is a story of deepest love. That Yeshua (Jesus) had a vision of the world is certainly true but to me it was a love story"
"I was there when Yeshua was crucified. I saw him in the tomb and wrapped him with his mother beside me. I will forever remember the smell of myrrh. Thas one of the ointments we used."
Of the Resurrection she says many, many things over dozens of pages including "Yeshua appeared to me in a luminous light. I could not believe my eyes, and so I touched his wounds. The disciples were jealous that he had come to me first"
"It was strange to have my beloved transported to another realm, another world, while I and our daughter Sar'h crossed the Mediterranean alone. In those years that I was alone by the sea afer Sar'h married, Jesus would often visit of course not as before but more as energy then flesh, more light. When I died he was there and took me into what some call heaven, which is a place within the soul."
"After Yeshua's crucifixion, I and his mother, Mary, Joseph of Arimathea, his 12 year old son Aaron, and two other young women set off from Northern Egypt. Our path eventually led us to Sardenia, and to the tip of what is now the Cinque Terra, finally landing at Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer and making our trek northward to Northern France through Rennes-le-Chateau into Northern France and across the channel into what is now England. We settled in Glastonbury for several years until Sar'h" (this is where the MM chapels are including the one with the famed stain glass image of Jesus holding hands with a pregnant Mary M)
"I must explain the basic understanding of sex and spiritual realization for this secret was stolen by the Church"
"In the early days of the Church, meaning the community of those who formed around Yeshua's teachings- a most beautiful ritual emerged. Those who wished to continue to be in his energy or presence would share bread and wine. Sometimes the men would share the ritual and sometimes the women. This simple act of sharing among each other was in keeping with Yeshua's intent, and yet as the years progressed the simplicity of this got lost, and only those ordained by the Church could give Communion, something which Yeshua would find most distasteful."
She says "I realize in the sharing of this story that only a handful will understand-but that is enough"
I just wish it to reach much more than that for consideration in this most humble of means.
And for it to be part of my wish for you this week. As well as my Easter gift to her and to Yeshua.
If indeed Jesus was married to Mary Magdalen how would it change how you see him and his story? Her story? I too see it as a Love story. His love for us certainly to blaze a path of Light in the afterlife for us all as well as their obvious love for each other.
Maybe we could become more absolute in our faith if we developed a unified secondary goal in mind along with our primary goal or reaching Heaven. To not just in theory or philosophy or doctrine strive for Oneness but to begin to take the action necessary to come together in our myriad of complex faiths into ONE supreme expression of love for one another and to Love and Serve the One Creator we all strive to be closer to and that we all worship in so very many ways, under so many different names. Isn't this why non-denominational services are so rapidly expanding? Do you think it matters more to God what label has been given to your religious practices OR celebrating in Unision? Or how about HOW you practice and serve?
A friend that is a traditional, devout Catholic recently expressed how much she "gets" out of the homilys of Dr. Robert Schuller on Sunday television and by reading his books. She said hesitantly, "I know it seems almost disrespectful to say but...I just get so much more out of them then Sunday services" To which I said, do you really think your God, and Christ Himself, cares how you find him or what it is that feeds your soul as long as it is fed? We are most in danger of floating along haphazardly like boats with no oar if we are not truly honest with ourselves about what it is we are seeking and how we are going about it and how we are living our lives. And that goes for not just traditional religious practices where one is in danger of being too inclusive, or outright blind like Nicodemous but also in New Age practices as well. After all, what is it they are seeking, how often does it change to fit their own comfort and needs or ego, and what are they basing their Truths on? Is that any different than the traditional religious doctrines they tend to criticize?
I lovingly ask you to to examine and consider: Is there a practice at your place of worship that has changed that once brought Light? Is there a part of you do not agree with but you never speak your mind about it? Is there a way to make it better for all but you never speak of it because "it's just how it's always been" What about other Faiths makes you fearful or uncomfortable?
What is real Truth? How do we find it when there is so much misinformation? Listen. Take time to meditate in silence. This is where God lies. And you will begin to hone your compass. The time is at hand.
Gently speak your hearts where you find mistruths. Even if it is uncomfortable. Especially if the alternative is to be robotic, to obediently follow that that has always been without even understanding what you are practicing or worse, to leave your Faith entirely... drifting along like a cub without it's den.
We must certainly must find that which works within that that serves and feeds us. However and WHEREVER that may be. We are certainly now being called to be a loud, clarion call perhaps within the very walls of the traditional practices to address that which Does NOT work or no longer resonate as Truth. That is why thousands of years later the Gnostic scriptures have been uncovered. All these sacred texts that were kept out of the Bible are now finding the Light. I believe Jesus the rebel stands with us awaiting this revolution and revelation some 2,000 years later! A revolution and evolution of Oneness not divisiveness.
While the world churns and turns in chaos I ask you on this most Holy of days... What are you waiting for?
I have a dream and pray that one day all faiths will come together within their similarities, shedding their differences, in Love, in Truth, to serve and Love. The One - Mother, Father, Creator in us all.
-Peace be with you. Jill
Picture is at the Rennes Le Chateau Mary Magdalen chapel in Europe. I also posted stain glassed window of a grown Jesus, holding hands with an expectant Mary from the Kilmore Church in Scotland. Both are christian churches on the site of sacred services for nearly a thousand years.