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Sunday Message for April 30, 2017


This month, we have used a term as our theme: "Easter Moments." I've defined an Easter Moment very specific ways each Sunday. So, we are all on the same page . . . here's what I've been saying each week. An Easter Moment is that moment when we consciously, intentionally, deliberately let something die that does not serve us so that we can be born into:
* a heightened spiritual awareness,
* a new consciousness and
* an expanded way of revealing the spiritual nature that is already ours so that we can share our gifts with the world.

The last two weeks, we have had an Easter Moment in different areas of our lives, and we have engaged in a specific and sacred activity to support that Moment. Today we bring this theme to a close with our final topic and final sacred activity.


And our final topic is bringing an Easter Moment to ideas around our physical vitality, our health and our wellbeing.

And I want to begin with several self-assessment questions (rhetorical). . .
First, do you have a conscious realization that your body is a temple of the Divine?

New Thought author Christian Larson in The Pathway of Roses, wrote these powerful words: "The body is the temple of the spirit, and must therefore receive just as much thought and attention as we give to the spirit. To neglect the body is to make real spirituality impossible, because spirituality is a living thing, and must have a highly developed [vehicle] . . . through which this living may be expressed. Spirituality is not simply in thought, feeling or abstract contemplation; there is no spirituality without the actual coming forth of real soul life; but the life of the soul does not come forth into tangible personal living unless the body is trained to respond to that life. To grow in spirituality is to continue to spiritualize the body, as well as mind and soul, until the visible person is as pure, as strong, as wholesome and as beautiful as the highest state of divine existence."a

Wow. That's good stuff! Keep that all in mind as I ask the second rhetorical question of the morning:
"Do you realize that there is a Pattern of Spiritual Perfection at the core of your Being?"

Ernest Holmes in 10 Ideas that Make a Difference, writes: "Every time we think of our body, we should think of it as our spiritual body. Think of every organ, action, function of our physical body as being pure and perfect Spirit, and think of God as being in us and around us and through us. . . . Our body is part of the kingdom of God, therefore there is a spiritual pattern at the center of it."b

Which leads us to the third (rhetorical) question of the morning:
"Do you realize the profound connection between what you have in your consciousness (your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, attitudes, values, words, actions and reactions) and your physical vitality, health and well being?

Charles Fillmore tells us in Talks on Truth: "It is wonderful how quickly the body responds to thoughts of life and health, and how you can get a flow of health instantly if you hold the right thoughts. Just closing the outer sense and holding the thought that you are the perfect manifestation of Divine Mind will often heal the body of its ills."c

My fourth question for you this morning and this is one that is a possible place for an Easter Moment:
"Am I a living embodiment of the Spiritual Truths that:
First, my body is a temple of the Divine?
Second, there is a Pattern of Spiritual Perfection at the core of my Being? and
Third, there is a profound connection between what I have in my consciousness and my physical vitality, health and well being?"

If we are living embodiments of these Truths, then our physicality will reflect it!

There is a great book entitled The Blue Zone: 9 Lessons of Living Longer from the People Who've Lived the Longest, by Dan Buettner. This book is a compilation of an exhaustive survey of places in the world where people live the longest and a compilation of commonalities found among the people.

I won't go into the details of the 9 lessons, but I want to share them with you briefly, ranking them from top to bottom:d

* First, Movement - People who live the longest engage in regular, consistent physical activity. Not weekend warrior kind of movement, but ongoing, consistent movement built into their daily routines with a combination of aerobic, balancing and muscle strengthening.

* Second and third relate to how they eat:
- People who live the longest take in about 20% fewer calories that the average person; and
- They have a "Plant Slant," meaning they eat less meat and processed food.

These ideas about movement and diet are said in a more blunt way in another book called Younger Next Year by Chris Crowley and Henry Lodge: "Our advise is, basically, . . . exercise 6 days a week and . . . quit eating crap."e

* Fourth, live from purpose - we talked about that last week.

* Fifth, relieve stress.

* Sixth, belong to a spiritual community.

* Seventh, recognize the importance of family and loved ones and spend time with them.

* Eighth, surround yourself with people who share these Blue Zone values.

And in a congregation where many of our folks come from a 12-step background, I am a little hesitant to mention the 9th one, but I will in full disclosure of the contents of the book . .

* Drink red wine IN MODERATION!

Now don't go back to your sponsors and say your minister said you need to start drinking! I'm definitely not saying that, but that is one of the factors in The Blue Zone.

It is interesting to note that the top three commonalities of those who live the longest relate to how they take care of their body temples. Remember Christian Larsen's words I quoted a few moments ago: "To neglect the body is to make real spirituality impossible, because spirituality is a living thing, and must have a highly developed [vehicle] . . . through which this living may be expressed."

Is there an Easter Moment in there anywhere? In what we have talked about so far, is there anything you would like to consciously, intentionally, deliberately let die around the way you think about and/or care for your body temple so that you can be born into:
* a heightened spiritual awareness about your body's role in your spiritual development?
* a new consciousness around the relationship between your internal thoughts, feelings, beliefs, etc and your external physicality?
* an expanded way of revealing the spiritual nature that is already yours (which is a pattern of perfection) in the way you care for your physical vessel so that you can share your gifts with the world?

For now, let's identify our concept or behavior about which we want to have an Easter Moment this morning.

Close your eyes, if you like. Become aware of your breathing. Slow and steady. With each deep breath, consciously drop into your heart more and more and more, as if you were breathing from your heart. [Pause]

Take a moment to connect with your physicality. Do a body scan; notice how you are feeling this morning. Notice any sensations.

Now, simply ask your body a question:

"Is there something in the way I think about you or treat you that, were I to let that go today, were I to let it die today, you would experience more dynamic, vibrant and radiant health?"

[Be silent.]

Now just visualize putting that which you will release into a basket of a hot air balloon. Step back and watch it disappear into the sky

Now notice in your body where you feel an open space because you released that thought or that way of being around your body temple. Touch in and notice where you feel it. Is it in your heart space? Your solar plexus? Your shoulders? Where do you feel a spaciousness?

We want to consciously fill that opening now with light and beauty. Starting at that place in your body, envision it filled with light and say to yourself, "I am light; I am beauty." Take a few moments to let the light and beauty radiate from that place throughout your entire body, repeating the phrase "I am light; I am beauty" as you work your way around. and then see your light and beauty radiate beyond your physical body and out into the world.


In celebration and gratitude, we know that this is so!

aChristian Larson The Pathway of Roses, p. 61
bErnest Holmes 10 Ideas that Make a Difference, p 15
cCharles Fillmore Talks on Truth, p. 120
dThe Blue Zone: 9 Lessons of Living Longer from the People Who've Lived the Longest, Dan Buettner
eYounger Next Year Chris Crowley & Henry Lodge, p. 197

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