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Rev. Dr. Henry Lee Bates - Archived Messages

RevBates.tv Global - Weekly Message To The Masses for December 2, 2007 

              "One who believes in God can see God in the symbol of a wooden cross.  One who knows God sees God in the wood and not the cross." - Author Unknown

     
This month we enter into the traditional Holiday Season; the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah begins at Sundown on December 4th, Muslims commemorate Eid al Adha beginning at Sundown on December 19th, Christians and Catholics celebrate Christmas on December 25th, and the African American and Pan-African celebration of Kwanzaa begins on December 26th.  It is definitely the Holiday Season.

     Each of these traditional celebrations has significant meaning to the people who celebrate them.  And I believe that whether we celebrate them, or not, it is important that we show respect for them and to those people who do celebrate them.  And the way in which we show respect, to me, is to greet people with the "inclusive" greeting of "Happy Holidays" ... unless we personally know their religious faith. After all, there is truly no sure-fire way of knowing someone's religious affiliation unless you have personal knowledge of it ... and "Happy Holidays" conveys the appropriate "spirit" of the season.

     I believe it is important that we not let our "realization of Oneness" be diminished by religious divisions.  There are those who will attempt to divide us with religious celebrations.  Fox News has a news article today that is titled, "Christmas tree or Holiday tree?" ... why can't it be both.  If the "tree" is in the "public square" it is a "Holiday tree" ... if it is in a Christian or Catholic church, it is a "Christmas tree" ... the tree doesn't change ... just the way we see it ... the tree has no religion ... it is merely another expression of Life that is differentiated in our minds.  Historically, the decorating of the tree was to bring light into the Winter Solstice celebration.  It was brought into religion by the Catholic Church to appease people they wanted to convert to Catholicism.  Once again, the tree did not change ... just the way they saw it.

     Someone asked me recently if we celebrate holidays in the Science of Mind? ... and I replied that "we celebrate everything about Life."  And this is the key to the beginning of the end of the divisiveness ... the intention of these religious celebrations  is not to divide us ... but to celebrate our individuality.  But in Truth, although we are "individual" ... we are also "One."  An easy way to understand this is to think of the waves of the ocean ... each wave is individual ... but each is also One in their relationship to the ocean.  And this is our relationship to each other and to the Infinite.  I know for many of you, you have already accepted this "Oneness" intellectually ... but as we recognize it once again and are reminded of it, it will become a little more true to us.

     I do not believe it benefits anyone to celebrate anything unless our feelings of celebration are "authentic" ... in other words, we should not participate in something that is not true to us ... we will not be in the "spirit" of it.  A few years after beginning my studies in the Science of Mind, I went to a Christmas Eve Mass at a Catholic Church.  It was a challenging experience because my consciousness had changed and much of what the priest was speaking about was no longer true for me.  At the same time, I was keenly aware that those around me were enjoying it very much and were in the "spirit" of it.  The Mass was all in Divine Order, and was in fact "for" the people who enjoyed it ... it was their Mass ... it was not mine. 

     And as we look out into our world, we can see that this is so for many things.  The world will want to judge right or wrong, or superior and inferior ... but the Infinite will always be "individualized" into immense differentiated consciousness.  Evolution takes place in "mind" first ... and every new idea that has ever come to the "mind" of man/woman ... originated in the One Mind ... awaiting the awareness of that someone who could conceive of it to bring it into fruition.  Religious theologies and religious celebrations too, are part of this evolutionary process of mind, and we can see evidence of this as more and more of these celebrations become "inclusive" rather than "exclusive."

    
In order to become more aware of our place in the Universe, we can begin by broadening our knowledge of the Good in the world that we live in.  I suggest that for everyone unfamiliar with the Holiday Celebrations taking place this month, that we learn about them.  As we expand our awareness of these things, we will find that the purpose of these celebrations is to bring us closer in our relationship with God ... and in so doing, we are all in the true Holiday Spirit.

AND SO IT IS!

Keep the faith!
Rev. Dr. Henry Lee Bates

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"I have been all things unholy.  If God can work through me, He can work
through anyone." 
-
St. Francis of Assisi