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Henry Bates

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The Way to a Wonderful Life, Sunday, December 23, 2012 

        People all over the world have differing views concerning the significance of Jesus' teachings and philosophy.  His words were not only for those who were present with him, but all those who would come after him and read the words of truth that he gave us with such passion and conviction.  His words were not just for him or for those who believed him.  His words were for all of us who have struggled to realize the truth of what he was teaching and have strived to discover the truth of it within our own hearts and minds, no matter what religion we may be or if we have no religion at all.  His identification with his Divine self shadowed his identification with his human self.  Unlike the masses of us, he knew that this identification with the Spirit that not only indwells us but is omnipresent throughout infinity, gains us access to the truth that can set us free from human struggles and suffering.

       At Christmas shouldn't we celebrate Jesus the teacher and Jesus the healer, rather than the Jesus perpetuated as a symbol of religious dogma and superstition?  Shouldn't we celebrate his tremendous capacity for lovingness, forgivingness and givingness?  Shouldn't we ask ourselves what he meant when he said, "the Father is a Spirit and must be worshiped in spirit and in truth"?  Those who reject Jesus do so with the same ignorance of him as those who perpetuate the myth of a “God” who is made in the image of man (generic) with all the harsh judgments and superstitions, etc.  It is no secret that religion has a powerful partner in their perpetuating a Jesus that supports their man-made religions, the Media.  Rarely does the Media give attention to any ideas about Jesus that are not sourced from the religions that have used him to maintain their own power and manipulation of people and their judgments of right and wrong.  The Media, like so many people, confuse large numbers of followers as validation for the teaching of truth.  Jesus only had twelve steadfast followers during his ministry and when faced with their own death or imprisonment, even those twelve betrayed him, one for money [Judas].  How often do we read in the Media of people who have gained a greater realization of Jesus’ teachings that defy the judgmental dogma of religion?  Rarely, if ever.

     Everything in life has evolved through a greater realization of our intelligence and creative spirit, except in large part for our religions.  Our evolving understanding and awareness of the profound truth that Jesus was teaching about our relationship with G-d and each other has been dismissed in favor of tradition and dogma.  Unlike Jesus, so many of those who say they believe in him and that he is their savior, are passively content to be led like sheep without any great effort on their part to actually fully understand him or his philosophy.  Preachers, priests and evangelists parrot the same fairytales about Jesus as those of hundreds of years ago, failing often themselves to have any great passion for a deeper, more profound understanding of what Jesus was teaching.  Too many Christians have let bumper stickers and clever slogans represent their faith, but these can never be a substitute for a deeper realization of the truth that Jesus so passionately gave us to save us.  During December we continue to hear the whines of conservative Christians and Media that we are to say “Merry Christmas” not “Happy Holidays” even though the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah is during the same period of time, most years.  In doing so, are they ignorant of the fact that Jesus celebrated Hanukkah?  Or, is their agenda so selfishly driven that it doesn’t matter?  How many of these “Merry Christmas” people realize that the Jews that stood steadfast against forced worship were standing up for the realization that there is only One G-d?  Jesus’ “truth that will set us free” … is available to us all, but as Emerson would say we “get our bloated nothingness in the way” and so we fail to obtain it.

      "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do ..." - Jesus, Holy Bible, John 14:12

As we look at the words of the Master Mind Jesus we can see that he had great faith in our ability to achieve that which we seek to achieve.  Whether it be something that we desire to have, to do or to be, he is telling us that we can do it ... because he has shown us that it can be achieved.  This man who devoted his life to seeking and revealing G-d in all things; both in nature and in the human spirit, urged us to discover the power of G-d within us.  And he told us we can realize this power by having faith first in G-d and then cultivating, nurturing and fostering faith in ourselves to use the power that G-d has incarnated within each and every one of us ... no exceptions.  And, our ability to use this power is not dependent on anything in the world; not the conditions we live in, our education, our position in life, nor is it dependent on our religion or lack of religion.  It is dependent on our faith and our willingness to be persistent and consistent in our faith in that which we seek to be true for us.

      There are those who will ridicule our efforts to "follow Jesus" that is, to do what he said we can do.  But, he did not say we would walk on water or turn water into wine or multiply the loaves and fishes ... he said we can do “greater things” … and what are these “greater things”?  We won’t know what they are until we make the decision to do them, to pray for something greater, to prepare our mind to accept it, and to  cultivate the faith that positions us to obtain it.  We won’t know the truth as long as we “chase” the myriad of distractions that permeate the world in which we live.  We won’t know it by allowing ourselves to be deceived into thinking that we can do it without G-d … “I, of mine own self can do nothing” Jesus said, and who can do better? … with G-d miracles are possible, without G-d misery shadows our happiness and joy.

       "I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." - Jesus, Holy Bible, Matthew 17:20

      Not a lot of people take these words of Jesus too seriously as they get stopped at the thought of moving a mountain.  But, he wasn’t telling us to move mountains but to “think big” to enlarge our consciousness for big things and great things.  To give expression in a greater way to the lovingness, forgivingness and givingness of G-d through us, as us, and for us.  We must “think big” if we want to transcend the things that frustrate us or seemingly obstruct us from realizing the abundantly joyful, happy, successful and prosperous life that we desire to experience.  To contemplate having the faith to move a mountain may not move a mountain but it may draw to our awareness the way in which to live a healthier and more prosperous life.  By the mere thought of having this measure of powerful faith we may find ourselves realizing financial abundance instead of an abundance of debt … or experiencing loving companionship rather than disheartening loneliness.  We won’t know what we can do until we make the decision to go beyond what we have believed to be true in the past and elevate our beliefs to the truth that we are “the light of the world” as Jesus declared us to be … and start loosing all the old thoughts, ideas and beliefs that tell us that “we are just human” … and have the realization that Jesus had … that we are Divine too … then we shall find “and greater things still” become our reality.


Keep the faith!
. Henry Bates

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