Welcome to this special day of thanks wherein we praise God for this fellowship, this church and this work, count the miracles of living experienced individually and collectively in this year that is coming to a close.
The words of this title are found in the Biblical book of Deuteronomy wherein the LORD God outlined His covenant with Israel. That solemn agreement is with you and me, for we are all Israelites in scriptural symbology; the nation of Israel, in its highest significance, represents spiritual consciousness, the Holy Land of divine awareness. The meaning of the name “Israel” is “contender for God: striving for God; who prevails with God; a prince with God; dominion with God; rulership with God.” Should we not be happy to number ourselves as members of that special community?
Times of revolutionary and evolutionary change do bring forth those of great foresight, ordered mind, who perceive the heart of matters and are able to clarify confusions, keep the vision of a redeeming way.
Our world and this planet can relate to the words of Thomas Paine, so influential in the shaping of our nation, when he uttered his famous words, “These are times that try men’s souls”... This great American patriot was speaking of the difficulty of establishing a nation truly of the people, by the people, and for the people. Today, they apply worldwide and have always expressed the “two steps forward and one back” progression on the personal path to spiritual perfection. How vital it is for every soul to know and prove the glorious promises of the Word of God, to have those truths written in the heart that it cannot tremble or fail in the tribulations that affect us all on this learning place of the planet earth.
Thomas Paine was of the universal nature. It was said of him that he was “English by birth, a French citizen by decree, and American by adoption.”
I share with you the first six verses of Deuteronomy, Chapter 28, declaring the blessings provided for those who seek communion with God and His righteousness: “And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD God, to observe and to do all His commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.
“Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine (calves), and the flocks of thy sheep.
“Blessed shalt thou be thy basket and thy store.
“Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out.”
Two verses stand out: One, “And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee…” No need to beg, force, or fret, — good will overflow, immerse us, when we abide in the spiritual nature –be selfless, pure, and humble in thought, word, and deed, when we stay attuned.
Secondly, “Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out.” No matter what be the circumstances of our birth, or coming in, or our going out, transition to the next realm or dimension, our way shall be blessed, the caring of our Father-Mother God and divine helpers shall attend us. From birth to rebirth and all that transpires in between, we shall not be left comfortless.
Wonders never cease, miracles happen at a stunning rate if we but have eyes to see, and ears to hear. Two mind-stretching happenings have been brought to my attention recently: On Wednesday, November 12th, a European spacecraft landed on the surface of a speeding comet, with a bounce, after traveling 4 billion miles and a decade-long journey. What a voyage for a craft only the size of a washing machine! But something even more meaningful to us has been slowly revealing itself to scientists, bit by bit although partially understood by metaphysicians for over a century, masters and mystics much longer, and fully grasped and utilized by the Christed Savior, Jesus.
In 1938, The Science of Mind, written by Ernest Holmes, was published and contained this paragraph: “We all look forward to the day when science and religion shall walk hand in hand through the visible to the invisible.”
I well remember when humanity was amazed at the tremendous power packed in the smallness of the atom, a half million of which “lined up shoulder to shoulder could hide behind a human hair.” Dissection by dissection, particles got smaller and smaller and began behaving contrary to established scientific principles as well as causing some noted scientists to lament the findings lest it throw many of their theories out the window. They had to enlarge their thinking but found that the puzzle of creation did fit together.
Dr. Deepak Chopra describes the realm of these quantum or almost invisible particles as “the transitional place between Spirit …and the material world.” That’s where the Power and Wisdom that undergirds and permeates the universe moves into physical manifestation.
Blessings, indeed, shall overtake mankind… Scientists actually entered the quantum world, where thoughts became things, by accident. As they probed deeper to find elementary particles, they found it almost unbelievable that the sub-atomic particles seemed to know what the observer wanted them to do and did it. If the investigator was expecting a particular activity, that is what he got. If he changed his mind, the particles would respond to the new idea or expectation. Scientists had entered a dimension they could not measure and obtain consistent results, define it with any certainty. In other words, the world of divine potentiality. Our Savior did not speak lightly when He declared, “With God, all things are possible.”
Jesus said, “… as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee.” We all came into being through processings of sub-atomic particles obeying the ideations of the Creator. We are His Children, in His image and likeness, destined to create personal worlds, as we are now doing, and capable of doing much, much more as awareness of already existing greater dimensions unfold their secrets.
Our Savior Wayshower Jesus easily traversed from one realm to another; He, Elijah and Enoch ascended or translated; Revelation speaks of a new heaven and a new earth, an evolvement when “God shall wipe away all tears from (human) 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.”
Spiritually-attuned seekers have achieved a high connection through the mind, and are approaching the conscious knowing of where and how the spiritual and material merge. When we experience that ultimate illumined place, we shall fulfill the Savior’s promise, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do…”
God’s creation, His Universe, is a universe envisioned by love, governed by perfect laws; our divine authority springs from understanding, obeying, and being that which is very good. Our dominant desires, attitudes, and thought patterns turn into the .things of life. We determine our level of living, and when we realize this, we are ready to receive the blessings that want to overtake us, to allow the heavenly to flow through us, to add our unique gift of holy expression to the stream of goodness to further disseminate truth and light upon the earth.
We are children of the Universe, connected in every aspect of being through the cells of our physical bodies, our thoughts, our feelings, our heart desires, the spark of God within that gives each of us life. We cannot express anything –even just breath — but what we create a causes ripple that reverberates in countless ways to affect the workings of creation.
Can you not see why we must truly perfect love before we can attune to and use spiritual laws of the highest and most powerful authority? We are charged to forgive and bless, think and revere purity that we cannot exploit.
Scientists must now join the mystics, prophets, the Savior, in proclaiming that thoughts become things, activated from the realm of the Spirit down to the visible physical.
Think of the miracles of healing possible when we can let go of fear, truly believe and trust that mind can remake our world and discipline ourselves to love and expect the blessings promised to overtake us. What a treasure we have to share!
And now, I am issuing you an invitation to share in a group effort to just believe that ways and means to take care of several very needed improvements in this, our beloved little church are already forthcoming. It has served, without interruption, for ninety-three years. I am simply asking each of you to see, in your mind’s eye, and feel in your heart, its beauty and beautification, envision it from a new perspective as a spiritual sanctuary rather than a material structure.
Let us not think of shabby spots, but enjoy its special characteristics. I marvel at the durability of the paint in this sanctuary and the evidence of its architecture that it was built by ordinary but loving hands that sought to provide a home for seeking pilgrims.
Thoughts are things; enthusiasm and expectation intensify the action of Spirit to manifest in the physical. As we willingly tend to the small things, we are laying the foundation for rulership over larger matters.
The calls and distractions of the world make it difficult, at times, to keep our priorities straight. I love the story a minister tells on herself. When new in the field, a seasoned minister dropped by and asked how her day was going. She replied, “I am so frustrated. I have a newsletter to work on, my sermon to write, and all these other things to do — but people keep calling with all these interruptions.” The senior minister just looked at her and quietly said, “The interruptions are your ministry. The rest is just paperwork.”
In closing, please bow your heads: “Dear Father, We thank you for life, for one another, for all the wonders you have given, your love, your protection, your guidance, and sing with joy for what lies ahead.”