Aloha Dear Ones,
How wonderful to be back with you. I’ve taken time off to learn more of what I need to understand about the heart of love. It’s hard to know where to begin, at what point to bring you into my process of discovery.
I’ve just returned from a Lutheran Church in South Maui, where I attended their Good Friday service. Good Friday is part of Christian Holy Week, retelling the story of Christ’s last days, his death, followed by the celebration of his resurrection on Easter Sunday.
I went back to the Lutheran religion of my childhood tonight, because my beloved Unity Church doesn’t have a Good Friday service.
My former minister, Rev. Mary Omwake, told me that a group of Unity leaders once asked Matthew Fox, revolutionary theologian and defrocked Catholic (now an Episcopalian priest), for his opinion on Unity’s teachings. Matthew Fox’s analysis was that Unity reflected his understanding of the light, really had the positive truth, but that, “new thought,” churches, in general, didn’t know what to do with the dark.
Thus, no Unity service on Jesus’s crucifixion. This is a broad and deep issue for another post. Unity will indeed have a beautiful Easter service. I will be on duty as a chaplain, available to pray with anyone at the program’s close. If you are here on Maui, please come and say aloha on Sunday morning.
What touched me most at the Lutheran Church tonight was how profoundly interconnected I felt with everyone. It felt like my heart was beating in time with each heart, with the heart of the congregation. Amongst the Lutheran regulars, there’s probably a range of beliefs, from fundamentalist to very progressive (this is tolerant Maui, after all). The more conservative members would take issue with my belief that all paths lead to God, perhaps even with my identifying as a Christian.
Yet, what I heard, what I participated in with my Lutheran brothers and sisters this Good Friday, along with being deeply moving, seemed to come from an evolving, more integral perspective. The service focused on the 14 Stations of the Cross, each moments in Christ’s walk, bearing a heavy wooden cross, towards the site of his execution.
The liturgy, the language of each Station, was written in a way that evoked a deep resonance with Jesus as a man, fully human, as well as fully divine–a man who was so surrendered to the Divine, who so fully embodied God’s love, that he was willing to give his life for, as, that love. We were asked how we would have responded, had we been on that walk with the crowd following Jesus to his death. When Jesus fell the second time, under the weight of the cross, would we help him carry it, as did Simon? When, for the third time, Jesus fell, would we have tenderly wiped his brow, as did the woman who pushed through the soldiers to reach him?
We were charged with considering how we show up for God’s love, now, in this life. Can we become so aligned with Divine right action, that, like Christ, we always say, “Not my will, but Thine?” Can our identity shift from an individual self, separate from each other, separate from God, to one inter-related whole, responsible for acting as God’s only hands, only voice, on earth? Can we, like Christ, choose to act as God’s love, no matter what the cost?
Yes, I’m paraphrasing, through the evolutionary, integral lens of consciousness. But tonight, as I sat with my spiritual family (I was going to say extended family, but it conveys something one step removed, which was not the reality), the love in our hearts was separated neither by language, nor dogma. I saw the tears shed by all, and all saw mine. I felt the love of all–and all felt mine. Together, we experienced a quickening (evolutionary impulse/Holy Spirit) of our commitment to show up as God’s love on earth.
Dear ones, we cannot wait for God’s love to be revealed to us. We need to act as God’s love for each other, now, with courage, with humility, through our sorrows and our joys.
Love and blessings,
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