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The Way to a Wonderful Life, Sunday, November 24, 2013 

Listen to the Radio Broadcast of this Message:  click here
            "For the first time since 1888, the first day of Hanukkah and Thanksgiving will overlap. Experts say that might not happen again until 79,811.  That long time span is because the Jewish calendar is drifting apart from the solar calendar.
         Hanukkah always starts at sundown before the first day of the holiday. Mathematicians have found Hanukkah Eve will fall on Thanksgiving in 2070 and 2165, so people will light their first candles on Thanksgiving in those years
." - from CBS Local, Minnesota

        For most of us, this alignment of Hanukkah and Thanksgiving is a once in a lifetime event.  It is interesting to note that Hanukkah is the "Festival of Lights" and "light" represents truth and understanding.  And our understanding that gratitude increases that which we have to share and to spare and gives us a definite reason for celebrating that which we have to be grateful for on Thanksgiving.  And so light and gratitude have great significance to spiritual demonstration and healing.

       From Charles Fillmore's book, "Teach Us To Pray" we can read:  "By Thy light and life I am strengthened and healed.
Every good gift and every perfect gift cometh from above, from the Father of light, and I am in all ways prospered."
        Bible Writers use the word "light" to represent intelligence. When Jesus said, "I am the light of the world," He undoubtedly meant that He was the expresser of Truth in all of its aspects. In the 1st chapter of John (Gospel) light and Truth are synonymous.
"There was the true light, even the light which lighteth every man, coming into the world." This does not mean that He was the light of all those who come into the physical world, but of those who are born of Spirit into the world of reality. Those who live in physical consciousness regard the light as a radiation of the sun through which people discern the outline of things. But within this light that chases away the darkness is a principle hidden from the sense man. "And the light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness apprehended it not." Materiality is un-illumined and has no power in itself to overcome its ignorance. So all attempts of intellect to lift man and the human family to higher states of consciousness will prove futile. There must be an influx of spiritual energy and inspiration from the "Father of lights. ... Open your mind to the light of Spirit wherever you are. See with the eye of the mind that God is omnipresent Spirit, "over all, and through all, and in all."

       In these words of the Missouri Mystic Charles Fillmore, we can find a key to our understanding and to our spiritual practice of observing the light of the Spirit as it shines through our heart in silent meditation.  As the world turns towards a greater inclusiveness in our celebrations of light and gratitude we shall find that the Spirit will surely bring a greater measure of peace on earth and goodwill towards all earth's inhabitants.

      Thanksgiving is an inclusive holiday that is not limited to those of a certain religious or political mind-set.  Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, celebrated by those who follow the teachings of Judaism and others whose cultural connection is with them, offers the world the opportunity to view this celebration with inclusiveness. The origin of Hanukkah is found in the books 1 Maccabees and 2 Maccabees.  Only Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians include these books in their Bibles.  The story of Hanukkah does not appear in the Torah because the events that inspired the holiday occurred after it was written. It is, however, mentioned in the New Testament, in which Jesus attends a "Feast of Dedication."  The Master Mind Jesus was Jewish although his philosophy expanded the teachings of the Torah and goes beyond any traditional religious theology.  His attending this "Feast of Dedication" as the Festival of Lights and Hanukkah was called, is something that all those who follow Jesus should consider as important and beneficial.  As Charles Fillmore so clearly states that as we open our mind to the light of the Spirit we shall surely experience a shift in our consciousness to the awareness of the omnipresence of G-d, therefore Good.

        There is concern by many who value the observance of Thanksgiving that the material world; that is the world of commerce, is moving toward diminishing the spiritual value of this important holiday.  It is the things of the Spirit that we give thanks for that makes us greater as a people.  Gratitude to G-d as our Source of all that makes life worthwhile should always be a part of the gratefulness in our heart on this special day set aside for thanksgiving.  Gratitude for those we love and the family gatherings that are a part of the Thanksgiving tradition is time well spent that will give us the gifts of joy and happiness and a feeling of harmony that may sustain us in times when we are challenged or confronted with difficulties.  As Fillmore explains "the light shineth in the darkness" and who is it that has never experienced some degree of darkness in their lives, or who is it that never will?  As the world turns toward the material and away from those things of the Spirit our ability to be sustained through the darkness shall be diminished.  It is as simple as cause and effect and just as subtle.

     But, as the world turns towards those things of the Spirit, those things that gift us with a light in our soul that will shine forever, we can know that these are the things that will heal us, prosper us and bless us, in a multitude of ways.  Our soul knows that G-d is personal to each of us and gratitude and light magnifies this personal-ness of our relationship with G-d.  As we celebrate those things; Hanukkah and Thanksgiving, that give us a greater subconscious impression of light, gratitude and love, a myriad of negative impressions are displaced in our consciousness.  As our consciousness is free of negativity, we shall find an acceptance within us for a greater good than we have before imagined.  As Christian D. Larson writes in "The Pathway of Roses" we are "
to ask God for everything and in faith expect everything; to live in perpetual gratitude to Him who gives everything; to love God so much that we can inwardly feel that My Father and I are one. This is the prayer without ceasing, the true worship of the soul."  The effects may be subtle, invisible, and even unexplainable in words, but the good results are guaranteed.


Keep the faith!
. Henry Bates

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