Reflecting Poolwith Reverend Greg Coles, M.Div.
One of the contemporary spiritual teachers I follow is Richard Rohr, a Franciscan friar, priest, author, and founder of the Center for Contemplative Action. In a recent blog, Rohr writes:
Practical, practice-based Christianity has been avoided, denied, minimized, ignored, delayed, and sidelined for too many centuries, by too many Christians who were never told Christianity was anything more than a belonging or belief system.
These words reminded me of my own spiritual path with Unity and the purpose of our Advent Season to prepare a way for Christ to be re-born in ourselves. I do this by ensuring time in this busy holiday season for prayer, contemplative reading, meditation and silence, as pathways to awakening.
Quaker Pastor Phillip Gulley provides some beautiful ideas to contemplate this advent season, from his book, “If the Church were Christian: Rediscovering the Values of Jesus." I invite you to take time to reflect on these, as I am, in your time or meditation or quiet:
1. Jesus is a model for living more than an object of worship.
2. Affirming people’s potential is more important than reminding them of their brokenness.
3. The work of reconciliation is of greater value than making judgements.
4. Gracious behavior is more important than right belief.
5. Inviting questions is more valuable than supplying answers.
6. Encouraging the personal search is more important than group uniformity.
7. Meeting actual needs is more important than maintaining institutions.
8. Peacemaking is more important than power.
9. We should care more about love and less about sex.
10. Life in this world now is more important than eternity and the afterlife.
If one or more of these triggered you, congratulations, you are human and not alone. Allow yourself to sit with those that make you uneasy, to accept and recognize the shadow of the persona we would like to be, and embrace that we are all works in progress. And, if you were not triggered and are further along in your path than others might be, be patient with the rest of us.
This advent season is about preparing the way for a deeper expression of the Christ to be manifest in our lives and, through us, into the world. I hope you will join or listen into the online podcasts of our Sunday Advent series, which offers some practical tools for this journey. I invite you also to participate in one of our two Christmas Candlelight Services, on Wednesday Dec 20th at 7pm, or Sunday, Christmas Eve at 5pm. We will not have a Sunday morning celebration on Dec 24, and offices will be closed Dec 25.
Our journey to the Christ continues after Christmas as well, with a Burning Bowl Ceremony on the Sunday morn of New Year’s Eve, and a White Stone Service January 7. Check out these and other programs, classes or groups that we offer to support you on your journey to the Christ.
Christ in You, Your hope of glory.