Releasing Limits, Birthing the Divine
Dec. 18, 2011
Rev. Jan Chase
The weight of Santa's sleigh loaded with one Beanie Baby for every kid on earth: 333,333 tons.
The number of reindeer required to pull a 333,333-ton s sleigh: 214,206 -- plus Rudolph.
To deliver his gifts in one night, Santa would have to make 822.6 visits per second, sleighing at 3,000 times the speed of sound.
At that speed, Santa and his reindeer would burst into flame instantaneously.
The illusion of Santa is not really a myth if you look beyond the material aspects. For the spirit of Santa is the Spirit of Giving which is the Spirit of the Christ within us all.
On one hand it is physically impossible to have a sleigh loaded with gifts for children all over the world, drawn by reindeer delivering in one night.
On the other hand it happens. And it happens because that spirit of giving that spirit of love comes forth from within us and performs its miracles of love and giving.
We had many miracles this week.
The miracle of 2 families asking us to be their santa, was one. Our community stepping up to give is another miracle. And the miracle of our partners at DCFS bring bags of toys was the third miracle.
The miracle of our way being made clear and safe to Inglewood to officiate at the funeral of Ollie Moore was like being Santa on his sleigh, doing the impossible on a day when the 60 freeway was totally shut down and there were warnings to stay off the clogged highways. It was the fastest trip I ever made to LA
Seeing one of our 91 year-old women improving daily after her fall, as she relearns how to walk is a miracle.
Those of you who have studied A Course in Miracles know that “Miracles occur naturally as an expression of love. The real miracle is the love that inspires them. In this sense, everything that comes from love is a miracle.”
Love is our nature and our natural inheritance.
And Yet how can we raise our consciousness to be aware of the love that we are, the love that ties us to each other and to the divine?
That is what the traditional Christmas story if about: The Birthing of the Christ within us. Let us walk into the story.
Luke 1: The Birth of Jesus Foretold
26 In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."
The Universe knows that God is with us and within us. God sends many angels or messages to us with that message, and yet, how many of us hear it and what does that mean? It is our intuition, our divine feminine aspect that Mary represents that can hear that still small voice of the Divine within us saying: “The Lord is with you.”
29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.
How often do we feel so negatively about ourselves that we refuse to hear good news? We refuse to let in hope and joy. We discount good news. Something about the change of hearing the power and present of the divine within us often brings fear.
30 But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31 You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."
Fear is our EGO’s reaction to our spiritual essence and to change. Until we shift our patterns of learning, until we raise our thinking to a place of love and intuition, until we trust spirit to lead our lives, we will suffer from fear.
34 "How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?" 35 The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. 37 For nothing is impossible with God." 38 "I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her.
A virgin is one who does not have experience, and is free from contamination of the world. There is an innocence about a virgin’s mind that allows the Holy Spirit to envelope her, to impregnate her with the Good News of her Sacred Essence.
We all return to our virgin mind when we open ourselves to the will and wisdom of Spirit. It is then that Our Inner Christ begins to grow our awareness.
Mary Visits Elizabeth
39 At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40 where she entered Zechariah's home and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!"
When Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth recognized the Divine Child growing in Mary’s womb. She recognized it because the divine child growing in her own womb left.
As we come together as a spiritual community, as we allow ourselves to see the divine in each other and share that good news with each other, we help each other to grow in spiritual awareness.
“The Christ in Me Sees the Christ in Thee.”
1:46-53pp -- 1Sa 2:1-10
46 And Mary said: "My soul glorifies the Lord 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, 49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me-- holy is his name. 50 His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation
After Mary’s time with Elizabeth, she sang, “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior…” As we support each other, as we see the glow of the Christ within each other and let the other know we see their essence, there comes a time when we, like Mary can own that Divine Essence within us and rejoice! Our hearts are light. That is what spiritual community is for.
The Divine within us grows until it is time for it to be born into the world. Until a time when we are able to nurture the Christ in a more public way.
The Birth of Jesus
1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to his own town to register. 4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.
Joseph represents our logical masculine aspect. To nurture our Christ Spirit openly in the world we need to be grounded in logic as well as guided by intuition, for our spiritual essence needs to learn how to balance being Human with being Spiritual.
We need the masculine and feminine aspects of our being to birth the Christ that dwells within us.
We need to look at the paradox of the struggle between our earthly needs and concerns and our spiritual needs and concerns. There is a push and a pull in our lives in many ways. As we open to embrace both our humanity and our spirituality, our masculine and our feminine, our thinking and our feeling, our sensing and our intuition, our inner world and our outer world, we prepare for the birth of a Greater Reality for ourselves and for the world.
6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
There is a natural progression of development within us to prepare us to birth the Christ, to “put on the Christ…which is the true self of everyone, the fulfillment of self” as Charles Fillmore, co-founder of our Unity Movement says.
Just as carrying a baby to term requires self-care, attention to what we put into our minds and bodies; so Carrying the Christ within to term requires attention to what we put into our minds and bodies. It takes spiritual study, time in prayer and meditation, time with supportive community.
But like childbirth, it is a natural process, one that we were built for and supported in.
When the time for labor comes, we need to humble ourselves, for it is God that is birthing this divine aspect of ourselves. We need to be humble, as in a stable to keep the EGO from taking over. We need to be in awareness and honoring of our animal nature, our emotions by being mindful of them without giving them the power to take over, as Mary and Joseph honored the animals whose stable they shared.
Labor is about expansion and contraction, paradoxes moving us to push out the divinity hidden within us so we can nurture it in the world. So we can be the very expression of the Christ in the world.
Life for many in our congregation and the world these are challenging times.
I believe that we are being pushed and pulled to a place where we birth the Christ. Unity Author Robert Brumet writes about 5 things to birth the Divine in his book “Birthing a Greater Reality”. We are being called to do all of these!
1. Make friends with paradox. Embrace the pushes and pulls in our lives and trust that they are calling us higher to a perspective where both are important. As Indian sage Nisargadatta Maharaj and Jimmie Jensen said, “Wisdom tells me I am nothing. Love tells me I am everything. And between the two my life flows.”
2. Cultivate the power of attention and intention. As we intend to be mindful of our emotions and physical sensation and thoughts without becoming attached to them, we learn to live in the present of the Sacred Presence. We can intend to align with the Christ within, so it will be born more quickly into this world that is awaiting it’s saving grace.
3. Embrace everything; be attached to nothing. As we realize that there is God and Good in all our experience, as we embrace them but do not cling to them or push them away, we realize that there is a power greater than us that is guiding our process. We can Let go and let God.
4. Listen, listen, listen – the universe speaks in a thousand ways. Philosopher Gebser writes: “we see the world as alive with meaning and ourselves an intrinsic part of that meaning. We experience a profound sense of belonging and a deep intimacy with the universe” when we are in Integral Consciousness.
5. To birth new worlds, we must dance with chaos. Chaos theory shows us that there is a hidden order in the universe. As we dance with chaos in our life, we open the door to personal and global transformation as we are “open and mindful of the hidden rhythms in our life.”
We need other miracles now. We have at least three people in our church community with emergency needs. If anyone wants to contribute to creating miracles in these lives, please give the money to me.
In closing, Rabbi Zev Feyer sent me this quotation from Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook at my request.
There is one who sings the song of one’s own soul, and in this soul s/he finds everything, full spiritual satisfaction.
And there is one who sings the song of one’s people, for s/he finds the circle of the private soul not wide enough, and so goes beyond it, reaching for more powerful heights. This one unites oneself with the soul of the community, sings its songs, suffers with its sorrows, and is delighted by its hopes.
And then there is one whose song lifts beyond the limitations of the community to sing the song of humanity. This one’s spirit expands to include the glory of the human image and its dreams.
And then there is one who rises even beyond this level, becoming one with all Creation and all creatures and all the worlds, and with all of them sings a song.
And there is one who rises together with the bundle of all these songs. All of them sing out, and each gives meaning and life to the others. And this completeness is the song of holiness, the Song of G*d.
Sun, December 18, 2011
by Rev. Jan Chase