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Sunday Message for January 15, 2023


The title of today's talk is God First. Or maybe I should say It's All God, which is the title of a book by Walter Starcke. Actually if you knew and believed that 'it's all God' you would have no reason to worry. In the last chapter of Starcke's book, in a chapter called After the talk is the walk - the doing - he writesa: Your life would be dedicated to feeding your neighbor's wholeness and your own one-ness.

In your oneness you would be both the one who feeds and the fed. You would not avoid the dark; you would not run away from difficulty; but you would shine the light of Spirit on it. You would know that the ultimate responsibility is not yours but is that of the Christ within you.

You would live effortlessly because you would welcome each experience - each segment of the circle - knowing that you are not just one segment but rather you are the whole circle. You would know that God is the only power. You would know that God is the only presence. You would know that you and everyone else are the Omnipresence, God.

So where did we get off the track and not living that kind of life? It says in (1 Corinthians 1:19-20) "For it is written, "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart." Where is the one who is wise?
Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?"

There was a dedicated, spiritual man who was a real advocate of the teachings of Jesus the Christ. But, he refused to call himself a Christian. He said that this was because most of the people and churches who claimed to be Christians neither understood or followed the truths of Jesus' life and teaching.

Now, while we can probably agree with him to some extent - in implying that his interpretation was the only right one, he had the same judgmental attitude that he was criticizing in others. Any time we become exclusive, we diminish the Christian message.

Throughout history their have been "two Christianities." We have to study and understand the teachings of Jesus from the left brain or masculine state of consciousness. We have to approach it in a logical or objective fashion. But we have to study and understand the teachings of Jesus also from the right brain, the more feminine, feeling, intuitive or subjective consciousness. Both of these viewpoints are important - even though, at times, they seem to contradict one another.

And this was one of the major splits in the early church between the traditionalists and the Gnostics. Politically, it made more sense to organize and control the traditionalists and condemn the Gnostics, because the Gnostics believed that the ultimate authority was within them.

And so the traditionalists created the churches, the rules, the dogma and the creeds. But the Gnostic mystical thinking never really died out. It permeated all the "New Age" thinking. It was there in Christian Science, Religious Science, and Unity. It is in the writings called The Course in Miracles and in Joel Goldsmith's Infinite Way writings.

But probably the most surprising area for Gnostic principles to appear has been in the discoveries of quantum physics. By proving the existence of realms beyond material existence the gap began to be closed between objective fact and subjective fiction, between matter and spirit.

They proved scientifically that by observing something "here," you could affect something "there." They brought to light the age-old alchemist's secret: Consciousness transmutes form. Spiritual healing and mind over matter went from superstition to scientific fact.

So besides getting rid of the separation between space and time, wave and particle, energy and matter, spiritual and material, they are doing away with the basic dualism of subject versus object. They have transcended all dualism and showed us that when we combine the two Christianities we will create a richer and more meaningful Christianity.

It says in (1 Corinthians 12:12-21) "For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot would say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear would say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many members, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you," nor again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you."c

We are promised that one day we will realize that we are made in the image of God. So we spend our whole lives searching for what that means. We imagine that we will then understand that because God is infinite and all-inclusive, so are we.

If I ask you who you are, or to describe yourself, more than likely you will tell me about what you have seen in the mirror. It is difficult for us to really be aware that we are microcosmic holograms of a macrocosmic infinite inclusive "beingness."

Infinity represents total inclusiveness. Infinity can't exist minus anything. So once we learn to think and feel inclusively we will realize our oneness with infinity. Then, we too, will no longer need to exist minus anything that we need or envision. We can have it all.

Of course we have been told that there are things in ourselves that are not nice, that we should exclude. Haven't you heard that you should eliminate fear, should shun doubt, should avoid getting angry, should not desire anything, and should not be passionate?

That's nothing but New Age foolishness! Because our true nature is infinite, all aspects of our nature are forever included in our infinity, and for a good reason.

When you are standing at the edge of a high cliff, I hope you have some fear. Fear is God's signal sent to protect his physical incarnation.

At times, we should all have doubts. Having healthy doubt spurs us to seek the truth that will make us free.

We should even include anger in our make-up. Jesus was justifiably angry when he chased the moneychangers out of the temple.

If anything, we should increase our passion. Kill passion, and you deal a deathblow to your creativity. Passion is energy, and until we passionately desire to experience God, we never will.

So, instead of trying to get rid of or exclude those sometimes disturbing human feelings, we should honor our wholeness by including them in order to see what they are telling us. It is all God. Nothing happens by accident.

Our feelings are signals, and it is a mistake to ignore them until their purposes are revealed. Once revealed, their energies can be redirected if they turn out to be inappropriate.

Resist not evil. Rather than eliminate - replace. Once we stop trying to eliminate undesirable attitudes, and instead replace them with desirable attitudes, we discover that we never have had a problem with what we feel. We had a problem with how we used or are being used "by" what we feel.

Jesus was plenty angry when he chased the moneychangers out of the temple, but he used his anger and wasn't used by it. After expressing the anger that was included in his infinite nature, he let it go. It had served its purpose, (Luke 23:34) "forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing."d

There is an Oriental saying, "To one who has arrived, the way is foreign." This means that once you have arrived, you will see that all you went through had little to do with your getting there.

It isn't that everything from the past is valueless or unnecessary at its place and time in the evolutionary process, but old concepts take on new meanings after they have served their purpose. We can go beyond old automatic, and perhaps obsolete, meanings and therefore go beyond our old lives.

We can go beyond faith. Many of the greats in science, art, and society have claimed that life is meaningless without a faith in God. Faith is not something you think or feel. It is something you do that can take you from finite limitation into infinite possibility.

Faith is not an invisible servant that is there to do our bidding on call. Faith is something we must do - something we must do that empowers us.

Scripture tells us, (Matthew 17:20) "If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, "Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you."e However, when you discover what faith is, you will find that misguided faith can also cause mountains to fall on you as well. Whatever you have faith in, you create - good or bad.

When you consciously know how and why faith works, superstition is replaced by knowledge and you go beyond having faith into being faith-full (Matthew 17:20) "and nothing will be impossible for you."f

We can go beyond reason. It has been stated that the universe was created out of chaos. This threatens us because something within human nature does not want to let go of reason. Reason requires a logical explanation for creation, for God, and for religion. But in the final analysis, the Spirit of creation is experiential and not logical

It takes a leap of faith to experience God. It will take a leap of faith to live at this time - a time at which we have to come to terms with chaos. We have to sense an order behind the chaos of life that is beyond reason, and when we do, perhaps for the first time, we will be able to experience that it is all God.

We can go beyond infinity. We hear mystics talk of entering the silence. It is not that the silence is a thoughtless state where the mind is obliterated. It is a state where the mind is consciously aware of a presence - a sense of Spirit or God - and yet there are no thoughts that define it. The silence is a conscious experience of "no-thing-ness."

Contemplating the infinite nature of Omnipresence, Omniscience, and Omnipotence can help you arrive at a state of no-thing-ness. That is because being infinite; infinity is beyond any one thing. If you experience the infinite nature of God or yourself, you enter a silence that transcends all things, a soul silence where it is all God.

We can go beyond prayer. Until you have gone beyond prayer, you most likely think of prayer as something one does. When we think or say prayers, we are taking an objective approach. To go beyond praying is to "be" prayer. In order to do that, you have to transcend conscious thought by merging with the process. You have to see yourself as "being prayed" rather than as praying.

We can go beyond church. The old third-dimensional time and space definition of church was a physical one built on exclusive membership, exclusive authority, exclusive theologies, and exclusive participation. That approach will no longer dominate the spiritual scene. Church will be where the message, the person, the race, the sex, the man of earth, or the man of God within each individual will be united inclusively by growing together, experiencing together, and sharing together.

We can go beyond God. As we go beyond old concepts, realize that the most frightening, important, and necessary one to go beyond is our old concept of God. If you analyze the twelve steps of AA, each step equates with a stage of spiritual evolution. They lead us to an awareness of the presence of an all-inclusive being or beingness.

You might say that consciousness has been on its own Twelve-Step program. The evolution of consciousness aims at giving us the ability to comprehend union with God. But as long as we conceive of ourselves as having an identity other than being one with God, a subtle addiction to duality still remains and a thirteenth step is needed.

We need to go beyond being an instrument for God or of doing God's will. As long as we think in terms of doing God's will, as though it is or could be other than our own wills, there are still "two," something that needs to be united with something else.

As long as we think of achieving union with God, we have yet to see that right now we are already God appearing as us. Right this minute, we are all that God is. When we experience that, we will have taken the Thirteenth Step.

So there is no way you can possibly go beyond words and thoughts unless you have become consciously aware that it is all God

aIt's All God, Walter Starcke
b1 Corinthians 1:19-20
c1 Corinthians 12:12-21
dLuke 23:34
eMatthew 17:20
fMatthew 17:20

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