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Sunday Message for November 15, 2020


Our theme quote for this month is the wise Yiddish adage that says: "If we thanked God for all the good in our lives, there wouldn't be time to weep over the bad."

Isn't that wonderful? "If we thanked God for all the good in our lives, there wouldn't be time to weep over the bad."

During the month of November, we are spending our time each week together thanking God for the good - for our many blessings. Today, the blessing for which we are being grateful - extremely, grateful - comes in the form of health.

It seems very appropriate that we stand in a place of gratitude about our health right now with the threat of the Coronavirus looming over us and with other physical challenges facing so many people in today's world.

Today, we will stand in gratitude for three things:
     First, we will stand in gratitude for the spiritual truth of our physical nature,
     Second, we will stand in gratitude for the spiritual growth physical challenges can bring,
     And finally, we will stand in gratitude for the power of prayer to bring forth our wholeness.

1. Gratitude for the Spiritual Truth of Our Physicality

The Apostle Paul asked, "Know ye not that ye are the temple of the Living God?"a

And that is the question I would ask each one of you this morning. Do you know that your physical body is a temple that houses God as you?

When we think about buildings that are temples, from Biblical times to today, what do we know about how they are treated? Yes, they are revered, respected, treated with utmost care and love. They are nurtured. They are given time and attention.

And is that how we treat our temples? Maybe, but often we can be like the comic strip character Hagar the Horrible:

Hagar: "What can I do to feel better, Dr. Zook?"
Doctor: "You must stop drinking, overeating, staying out late, and you must start exercising regularly!"
As Hagar arrives home his wife, Helga, asks him: "What did you find out at the doctor's office?"
Hagar: "That it might be time to get a new doctor!"

Say with me: "I am grateful for my body temple."

Here is another thing for which to be grateful regarding our physical temple. At the core of our being, at the spiritual level of our physical beingness, there is a pattern of perfection. It is how we are made - in the image and likeness of God, remember?

In fact, all the prayer work we ever do, and the training our Professional Practitioners get, is to realize that at the core of each individual is wholeness and to call that forth.

In the Revealing Word Charles Fillmore writes: "The healing word is not a special creation to meet an emergency. The word goes forth and establishes that which is. It does not heal anything--in its perfection there is nothing to heal. Its office is to behold the perfection of Being."b

In fact, there really is nothing ever to be healed; only wholeness to be revealed!

I'm not going to take the Pollyanna approach and say that there is no sickness or pain. But, I urge you to consider the possibility that pain and sickness are only part of the picture of the whole you.

Here's an analogy. You may be living in the basement of your house, and it may be uncomfortable, damp, cold and dark. But the basement is only part of a whole house.

I agree that it is uncomfortable in the basement, but the warm, comfortable, spacious and well-lighted house exists.

A doctor is not wrong when he gives his diagnosis. He or she is trained to see facts and to deal with them. But, despite the fact of appearances, you are whole, life is whole, the Universe is whole. Stop seeing yourself in part. Stop living in the basement. You are a spiritual being -- right now!

All of the Power and Presence, all of the wholeness of the Universe - the entire house so to speak -- is available to you, right now!

Say with me: "I am grateful for my wholeness."

So we are grateful for our body temple and grateful for the wholeness that we are.

And then we are invited to make wise decisions about how to show up in the world; how to care and nurture the body temple. And you get to be the one to decide how you do that.

If, for example, you choose not to shake hands or hug people here in church - or wherever you go - because you are doing your "work in the world" so to speak to keep your body temple healthy at this time of year, then honor that.

If getting a flu shot or taking meditation is what you are called to do, then honor that.

Dr. Leroy Dale wrote in How to Have Abundant Supply: "ONE of the rich attributes of God is substance. Substance underlies and penetrates everything in the physical, mental, and spiritual planes. In fact, substance is everywhere present as part of Universal Mind (often called the God-creative Mind.)"c

So, we shouldn't have an objection to any form of healing, for anything that helps to overcome suffering is good, whether it's a pill or a prayer. We believe in any method which produces results, for each has its place in the Whole

Let's say together again:
"I am grateful for my body temple.
I am grateful for my wholeness.
I am grateful for the wise care I give myself."

Despite all the tender loving care we give our bodies, illness does visit us, doesn't it? What's up with that?

2. Gratitude for the Spiritual Growth That Physical Challenges Can Bring

Rev. Peggy Bassett, a name some of you will recognize, was the minister of one of the most successful and thriving Religious Sciences churches in the 1970-80s -- The Huntington Beach Church of Religious Science.

One day while at a conference at Asilomar she was getting ready to take a walk with a friend and said, "You know, something isn't feeling right. I think I'll skip the walk." That was the moment Lew Gehrig's Disease began to present itself in her body. She eventually died of this disease.

In these New Thought teachings we are often taken aback when we learn that even spiritually evolved people become ill and die. "What were they thinking?" we might say. And one of the most insensitive things we can do as Metaphysicians is ask one of our Unity friends "How did you create that illness."

Caroline Myss in her book The Anatomy of the Spirit points out that the goal of becoming spiritually conscious "is not to outwit death, or even to become immune to disease."d

Rather, the goal is to be able to recognize that even in pain or illness there is a message of truth to discover.

Illness may serve to trigger a spiritual transformation and a "dark night of the soul" during which we confront our fears and thus move on to a higher level of spiritual awareness.

Our goal while on this earth, says Myss: ". . . is to transcend our illusions and discover the innate power of Spirit."e

And here is what Peggy Bassett said: "We tend to think that the purpose of prayer is to terminate sickness, but we forget that the purpose of sickness may be to initiate prayer, or deepen our relationship with the Divine. If illness is in the service of our own growth - what is healing?"f

Say with me will you - and as you do, have in mind a current physical challenge you have or one you have had in the past: "I am grateful for the spiritual growth this physical challenge brings/brought."

3. Gratitude For The Power Of Prayer To Bring Forth Our Wholeness

I know we have formal prayer, a time we set aside to pray. But do you also realize that every thought you think is a prayer? Because every thought you think activates the Law of God which is in the manifestation business.

So the question is, what prayers are you praying every day, every moment of every day, about your life, your body, your health?

Whatever you identify yourself with, you will become. Whatever you think about gradually becomes a subconscious pattern, always tending to manifest itself in your experiences.

Thomas Troward wrote: "There's a mechanical attitude of mind which judges everything by the limitations of past experiences, allowing nothing for the fact that those experiences with, for the most part, the results of our ignorance of spiritual law.... We shall not deny the reality of the body or of the physical world of facts, knowing that they also are Spirit, but we shall learn to deny their power as causes."g

Eric Butterworth wrote: "Troward insists that it is important that you do not kid yourself, that you don't deny the reality of the body, or of the physical world of facts. In other words, you don't deny the fact that you have pain. You don't deny the fact that you are sick, in the manifest sense, but you know that these things are also the perversion of the expression of spirit and you learn to deny their power as causes, you see."h

Be aware this week of what you are thinking about your physical beingness. Just notice, without judgment. And when you notice those thoughts that do not support the revealing of your pattern of perfection, gently and lovingly acknowledge it, and choose a higher thought!

I would like to end with the Grace Prayer:
For thee I thirst.
Into thy hands I commit my spirit
(my soul, my body, my life, this problem, all unforgiven states).
thy will is my will.
thy will be done through me.
Heal me at depth.
Reveal that which needs to be revealed.
Heal that which needs to be healed
so I can glorify You, God,
and live in the fullness of grace.
It is finished. AMEN

a1 Corinthians 3:16
bRevealing Word Charles Fillmore
cDr. Leroy Dale wrote in How to Have Abundant Supply
dCaroline Myss in her book The Anatomy of the Spirit
eCaroline Myss in her book The Anatomy of the Spirit
fPeggy Bassett
gThomas Troward
hEric Butterworth

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