A Living Hope is constant, for it is based on the unchanging absolute. Very much related to, but not the same as faith, hope also relies on Spirit for a better tomorrow. It is about growth; without it, there is no possibility of growth. It is about Truth, for without it we cannot aspire to any more than the present appearances of the material world. It keeps us open and receptive to the Truth of our being, as described in the Biblical verse; “…Christ in you, your hope of glory.” Today, this week – and always – we are invited to BE that spiritual principle, born in us from the beginning; that of Living Hope!
Sunday Video & Audio Files
This is the first Sunday of Advent, a Latin word meaning “Coming.” Throughout history, cultures have looked for, hoped for and prophesied the coming of a Messiah – one who would save humanity from this circle of good, evil, good, evil… In Unity, we understand the Messiah to be the the Christ Indwelling, living in and through and as us as unchanging Spiritual Law! All faith is “living faith,” and operates – positively or negatively – according to how we apply it. Fear and worry are examples of using our faith negatively. However, when we KNOW the Truth of our being; when we KNOW that the law works everywhere, for everyone and in every circumstance, we can put our faith, unquestioningly, in that Law! We can direct our thoughts and feelings to be in harmony with those positive experiences we desire, and which we so richly deserve as children of God!
Each of us has our own personal guidance system; the Christ Indwelling, or as we are calling it, this morning, the “Golden Compass.” This guidance will lead us surely, directly to our chosen goal. However, we must, first, know what our goal is! Do we want better health, abundant finances, harmonious relationships? These are all available to us. However, as with any journey – which, by the say, starts with the first step – we need to know where we ARE, if we are to know in which direction we need to travel to reach our destination. We also need to know how this personal compass works. We access it through prayer and meditation, listening closely to that still small voice. It will tell us exactly what we need to do. We acknowledge where we are, spiritually, and where we wish to be. We then lay aside the extra baggage that would hamper our travels; ego-based fear, resentments, self-depreciation, etc., and we are ready to start the journey of a lifetime!
Throughout history, cultures have celebrated the harvest with thanksgiving celebrations. J. Sig Paulson stated, “Gratitude is one of the most dynamic and creative energies available to you and me; in fact, gratitude is indispensable if we are to grow spiritually.” It is a creative power that brings into our experience those things we formerly may have thought out of reach! When God’s law is adhered to, it delivers great blessings to all people. We may not see, clearly, how a blessing can possibly manifest, but we can give thanks for that manifestation, anyway! As we give thanks in advance, in faith, we are assured our harvest of Absolute Good! God is always waiting to give us more! Today is the harvest!
Just as metal nails, used in the building of walls, roofing, or fences must pierce the wood with which we are building in order to do their job, spiritual nails – concepts and principles – must pierce our consciousness if we are to build of it something bigger, better, stronger. This morning, we are invited take action; to use these spiritual “nails” of living in the presence, practicing the Silence, staying centered in Truth, being aware of our inner environment and modifying our behavior to construct a consciousness that will manifest as a richer, fuller, happier life – that for which we were born! We are invited to pick up the hammer – representing our executive powers, take careful aim and drive those nails home!
Rev. Pam left us with the question: “How, then, shall we live?” So, how do we WANT to live? If we wish our lives to change – for the better – we are going to have to live in harmony with Spiritual Principle! This means ACTING on the Truth we know! The Law of Attraction is neutral; it will bring to us that which we send out, according to the energy thereof. We are the masters of our destiny; the ones who choose how it is to be. Today, we are invited to live our highest understanding of that which already is within us; God, the Good omnipotent.
In this, Rev. Pam’s last talk, she shared with us:
In order to grow, we must shed old beliefs, past ways, the status-quo; this means RISK! So, what do we choose? The “safety” of the status-quo, or the opportunities lying in new growth? One thing that must remain the same is this: We MUST continue to live our highest understanding of the principles we have been taught. We MUST put into practice – on a day-to-day, moment-to-moment basis, at home, at work, on the freeway – the teachings of Unity. If we want a different experience, we must change our thinking; we must raise it to be in alignment with Truth. Part of our Spiritual Journey is being willing to rest in the mystery – not knowing what is coming next. One thing for sure, as an old saying goes: “What do we do before enlightenment? Chop wood, carry water! What do we do after enlightenment? Chop wood, carry water!” So, we pray; prayers of denial, releasing that which is not True, and affirmative prayers of the Truth of our being. And, we meditate, opening ourselves to that knowingness which only comes from communion with God. Chop wood! Carry water!
No matter what is going on in our lives, there is always something for which we can be thankful – and, in that spirit of gratitude, always something we have to give. The Law is of giving and receiving – not the other way around. We MUST give FIRST, in order to receive! Tithing is but one way in which we fulfill that law. We are giving in gratitude for today’s blessings and for those to come! The benefits are many – and not limited to money! They come as the result of our establishing a closer relationship with Spirit, through our willingness to trust and to give. Though tithing is but one way, it is an important – absolutely necessary, non-negotiable way – to fulfill the Law!! When we give in joy, we empower that gift in ways that will absolutely amaze!
In the original language of the Bible, the word “prayer” meant “judging ourselves wondrously made.” Made in the image and likeness of God, who are we to call ourselves less? Prayer is what opens us up to the Truth!
There are two forms of prayer; meditative and spoken. In the latter, we speak affirmations of Truth – not to make something happen, but to raise our consciousness into that awareness of what already IS. Meditative prayer – meditation – is our way of experiencing God-in-us; our true I Am!
What motivates us to pray? For what are we longing? Whatever else we THINK we want, God is the answer; always waiting for us to open ourselves that He might live His glory – peace, love, prosperity, health – in and through and as us!
Prayer is like the propeller that drives the ship, giving the rudder the ability to steer — without the forward motion, the rudder is helpless. Likewise, we must be persistent in prayer to maintain a forward spiritual movement. We don’t pray to change effects; they are all temporary. And, we don’t pray to change God, for God does not change. Just as we keep on breathing, eating, bathing, etc., to live, so must we pray persistently, diligently – to change our consciousness and raise us into harmony with principle. Jesus knew this “secret;” knew his relationship with God, and people called his works miracles. He said, “Follow me.” In so doing, we WILL do the same works which He did – and greater than these! This was His promise to us!