SPIRITUAL MATTERS: Time for renewal of creation

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.” Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities, 1859.
We certainly live in interesting times. For many people hope springs anew and for many others they feel helpless and hopeless. While most of us are somewhere in between. Although, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of middle ground; most people I talk with and listen to seem to have very strong opinions one way or the other.
One thing that I’ve learned is that the more we choose to actively listen to each other and move beyond the opinions to the hopes and dreams and desires of the person, the more able we are to see that we are the same.
We all just want what is best for us and our children, for everyone.
The Holidays are a loaded time for many of us, we all have friends and relatives with strong opinions that we do not share. And, it is a time for us to set aside our differences and come together in spirit of harmony and good will. Good luck!
This past Sunday we began the Christian Season of Advent: the four Sundays leading up to the Christ Mass on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24.
Advent literally means “coming” and originally referred to the period of preparation for new members to be baptized into the church in anticipation of the second coming of Christ.
As Christianity became the state religion it adopted the earlier Roman celebrations of Brumalia and Saturnalia ushering in the New Year and the return of the sun. It was not until the 6th century, when the Christ Mass was moved to Dec. 25, that Advent was associated with the birth of Jesus.
Traditionally, with some variation amongst churches, over the four Sundays we light candles in celebration of the divine qualities of Hope, Peace, Love and Joy. Hope in anticipation of the coming, the consciousness of Peace which passes understanding, the Love which is God in expression, and Joy in the realization of Heaven on Earth.
In Creation Centered Spirituality, we recognize the creation story in the book of Genesis as a description of the evolutionary process and consistent with modern sciences theories of creation. Out of nothing: the darkness, energy, potentiality, came something which we call the Universe.
In addition to the traditional qualities, we honor all that has come before us in preparing the way for the birth of the Christ level of awareness first into our collective evolutionary process and secondly into our own individual consciousness of life and living. This is when here on earth will truly become as it is in heaven.
On the first Sunday of Advent we honor the mineral kingdom, the potential for growth in awareness, the hope for Divine expression. On the second Sunday we honor the plant kingdom, the beginning of new growth, and the peace of mind we find in nature.
On the third Sunday we honor the animal kingdom, the evolutionary jump to independent movement, and the ability to express love.
On the fourth Sunday we honor the kingdom of humanity, the conscious awareness of self, and the joy that comes with the awareness of a greater reality that we call God.
On Christmas Eve we light candles for all the divine qualities that constitute the birth of the Christ level of awareness within humanity collectively and individually. Hope, peace, love and joy are available to each of us here and now; they transcend the petty differences that divide us and can serve to unite us if we let them.
May this Holiday Season bring you a greater awareness of the hope, peace, love and joy that are yours to experience and express.
Blessings of peace, joy & love. Rev. Matthew E. Long, Peace Unity Community

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