Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Do you realize that you are Divine?

The foundational truth of all that is in existence is that Life is Trinity.
Divine Movement
The wonderful and unique Christian truth that is revealed in Christ is that God is Trinity. God comes forth from himself, and then reconciles himself with himself. In other words, the Creator creates, and then reconciles or makes one with himself that which he created. In Christian terms this is the creative movement of God: Father, Son, Holy Spirit.
All world religions recognize this coming forth from God.
Any reasonable human recognizes that there is creation and therefore a creator.
Unique Trinitarian Revelation in Christ
What is unique in Christ is the revelation of the “reconciliation” of the Creator and the created. We are not separate from Divine Life, but actually are one with and share Divine Life. 
Jesus, in the fullness of time (that is,  when humanity was ready) reveals to us the Trinitarian nature in which we are made.

As human beings, we can “know” that we are made in the image of God.

Animals “know.”
Humans “know that they know.”
We can think about our thinking. 
We can love the LOVE. 
This inner movement and awareness is Trinity.
To realize this is to be fully alive in Christ.
We are not and cannot be separate from the Divine Life.
All that exists is in God.
And in Christ we come to know that God is in us.
It is for to learn to cooperate with our Trinitarian life, to be conscious of the Divine and Relational Image that we are and share. 
As we mature in reflection and holy silence in the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ; as we know more and more the power of the unifying love of Pentecost, we come to know the truth of the Holy Trinity.
that we are created by the Father, redeemed by the Son, and made one in Love by the Holy Spirit.
As we experience this truth in our lives, let us “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”

Monday, 28 May 2012

Who Are You Becoming?

Many different things, experiences and people influence us in our lives - for good and for bad.

In fact, it is our environments that actually form us.

Those of us who are parents know that when our children begin to live their lives outside of our homes (at the baby sitters, kindergarden, at a friends house, and so on for the rest of their lives), our influence as parents diminishes.

What the people around us say and do can have an influence on who we are becoming.
The music that we listen to and the shows that we watch will have an influence on who we are becoming.
What we read will have an influence on who we are becoming.

"Who we are becoming" is the critical aspect to keep in our minds, because we are constantly changing. What we are changing into is something we do have some choice in.

In my life I have certainly been in environments that have impacted me in negative ways. But I have not allowed myself to be a prisoner to the negative experiences of my past.

We are all products of our past, but we do not have to be prisoners to our past. We can choose to change.

What I choose to focus on is what I am.

I choose to focus on the Life and Love that is freely given to us in Jesus.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Receiving of the Holy Spirit

Pentecost is a great feast in the Church’s life.
The great outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the Church and upon the world.
Pentecost is about meeting a basic human need...
the human need is to breath...breath Divine Love and Life.
Jesus breathes the Holy Spirit into the disciples” (John)
Silence and contemplation 
Taking time to be Biblically reflective and inwardly still enables us to receive, to be open to the Holy Spirit.
Sent Out
After receiving, becoming aware of the Holy Spirit within us, Jesus then “sends us out.
Why are we “sent out”??
They spoke in tongues that all nations could understand(Acts)
Divine love and forgiveness is a universal language.
Reconciliation is a universal human need.
The real language of humanity and the divine is that of love and forgiveness and unity.
In order for the Church to get on with her mission of love and reconciliation, many gifts, many people are required.

One Body, many gifts” (Corinthians)
There are many gifts in the Body in order to carry out the Holy Spirits mission of love, forgiveness and reconciliation.
Many gifts and many people are absolutely required in order for the Church to be effective in her mission, and every single one of us has a role in that mission.
It is a baptismal ministry of the whole people of God, a ministry in the Holy Spirit.
So as we celebrate Pentecost, and re-evaluate our openness to receiving the Love of God, and living out of that love in service to others, let us ask ourselves:
How open are you to the life of the Holy Spirit, the love of God, within you?
How committed are you to learning and maturing in the Spiritual life?
What are you doing, how are you contributing to the mission of the Church in this place?

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

My Criticism of the Monarchy

This year the English monarchy is celebrating 60 years of Elizabeth's reign as queen.

Her image is indelibly written upon my mind. For my entire life, not only has it been constantly before me on coins, money bills, stamps, but also, having spent the majority of my adult life in the Canadian Forces, the Queen was everywhere!

The monarchy is deeply entrenched in our Anglo Saxon history, it is woven into the fabric of our Canadian society, and it will be part of our collective consciousness for as long as I will live.

The monarchy, in its time in history, has had an important role in the development of our society. And as I reflect back over Queen Elizabeth's reign as Queen, I have only positive recollections.

As Queen of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth, she has reigned well.

That being said, I can no longer support the existence of a monarchy in today's Canadian society. I don't know what the answers are to Canada's severing its current identity with the English monarchy. But over time, and maybe generations, the relationship and identity with the monarchy will diminish.

One of my criticisms of the monarchy is the privilege and position in society it gives because of the family they are born into.

The Christian faith, of which our Western Society is built upon, has laboured over the centuries to influence the development of a society in which all people are equal and free - regardless of birth or status.

Every person born in Canada, every person living in Canada, is as equal and free as every other Canadian.

The very existence of a monarchy tells us that we are not equal and free.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Let us love one another

For Christians, today is the 6th Sunday of Easter, as we continue to reflect upon and give thanks for our Risen and New Life in Christ. 

In the book of Acts, we hear that when Peter was still preaching “…the Holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening to the Word.”
Wow! Do we have that kind of faith, that when we gather to hear the word of God and to enter into Holy Communion, that we are aware of the Holy Spirit coming upon us?
The Church of the Acts of the Apostles is a church where exciting stuff happened.
It is a church that actually expected God to act in their midst.
It was a church that was filled with power and the Holy Spirit.
We are members of that very same Church!
When we gather to LISTEN to the Word of God, 
  • we should expect things to happen, 
  • we should expect God to act.
  • We should expect the Holy Spirit to come upon us.
Listen to this word of God…
1 John: the love letter
“let us love one another, because love is of God”
“everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God”
“Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love”

When we begin to hear these words with our heart of hearts, they actually change us. The Holy Spirit comes upon us, and we become more open to the Divine Life of Christ that is at work within us.
How do we find happiness and fulfillment in life?
How do we become that Spirit filled Church of the Acts of the Apostles?
How do we become a Church where the Lord is present and acts powerfully amongst us?
In other words, how does the Holy Spirit fall upon us?
LISTEN to this Word of God from John’s Gospel…
“I love you...Remain in my one another.”
Let us open up, through the power of the Cross of Christ, and simply receive the Love of God, the Holy Spirit.
Let us learn how to remain and rest in that Love.
And out of that Love, let us love one another. 

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

My Golf Game

The forecast was for cloud and cold yesterday afternoon. But as soon as I saw the blue sky, I texted my older son and asked if he was available for a round of golf.

I've got four rounds of golf in so far this spring. As the weather hopefully improves, I'd like to be able to play at least one round a week.

I'm not very good, and I've lost lots of balls already!!!
But I like to play. I like the fresh air, the exercise, the company of family and friends.

In order to improve my game, which would also enable me to enjoy the game even more, I need to examine how I'm playing and how often I'm playing.

I need to work on the technique of my swing.
I need to be able to choose which club works best for me with each move down the fairway.
I need to talk to others and learn from their experience.

And in order to improve, I need to play a little more often.

In the midst of all of these "things" I need to do to improve, I should be careful not to forget why I'm golfing. I am golfing for fun and recreation, and to spend some time with family and friends.

This is something of what our lives are about.

If we want to live a more fulfilling life, we should regularly reflect on how we are living.
Out of this reflection, we should make adjustments to how we are living.
And we are wise if we seek the council of others who have more experience in living life.

As we enter this process of reflection, we come to recognize the deep joy we can have from being in maturing and loving relationships with those who share our life with us.

Jesus says "As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; remain in my one another."
This is the real game that is worth spending the time to improve on!!

Monday, 7 May 2012

More Love

Love is a beautiful experience.
Love changes us. Grows us. Matures us.
To love and to be loved is to be human.

There are different kinds of love.

Friendship love is when there is a person or persons in your life that shares common interests, that you are mutually attracted to, and that you want to spend time with...that is friendship love, and it is a beautiful love.

Erotic love is many things, but simply put, it is the genital expression of union between two lovers. It is a beautiful love.

There is also, to use a greek word, "agape" love. This is a love and compassion that a human being can have for all other human beings. It is a universal love. It is the love that God has for us. It is the love that we most need.

Even when our friends and lovers turn from us, God's love remains.
This universal love is the source and ultimate fulfillment of our lives.
It is a love that we need to discover and learn how to live out of.

In St.John's first letter he says "beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love."

We are made for Divine Love. It is the one reality that completes us and makes us whole.
Jesus fully reveals this Love to us. Let us get to know Him more, to know this Love more, to love one another more.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

The Truth

Relativism, or the lack of belief in any universal truth, is very much a part of mainstream thinking in our culture.

I think that this lack of truth, lack of purpose or meaning in people's lives, is sad and unfortunate, and leaves people living their lives in darkness.

For there is Truth. There is purpose. There is meaning to human life.

Jesus says "whoever sees me sees him who sent me. I have come as light into the world, so that everyone who believes in me should not remain in the darkness."

Jesus reveals to us that we are made in the divine image, that God's Life is in us, and that we are One in the Loving movement of God.

The more a person comes to know Jesus, the more they come to know who they really are. They come into the Light of what Life is. They come to know the Truth.

Today is the feast day of St.Anthanasius. He was the Bishop of Alexandria in the 300 AD's. He was a theological advisor at the Council of Nicea and helped define the Trinity at a time when Arianism (an influential heresy denying the divinity of Christ) was dividing an empire. He clarified the confusion and helped others understand the Trinity as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit; all three eternal and divine.

St.Athanasius came to know the Truth himself, and that there was meaning and purpose to life. And he was willing to stand up for the truth in the midst of great opposition.

St.Athanasius' witness calls us to the truth of relational (Trinitarian life), and to stand up for that truth.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Living with Depression

None of us are born with the tools required to live life to its fullest.

Whether it be in the area of marriage, parenting, grieving, or in any of the many and complex regions of our human condition, there is always something more for us to learn and apply.

A number of years ago when we introduced the "Marriage Course" in our parish, as the pastor, I sat in on the first course, to make sure that it contained the material and resources that I thought was required. It was and is an excellent course on developing better relationships in marriage. I did the course by myself, and my own marriage improved!!

My point in sharing that story, is that none of us are above learning how to improve our relationships, and none of us are above learning tools that can help us better cope with the very natural and normal conditions and experiences of being human.

The same thing happened when we introduced the parenting course 3 or 4 years ago. In facilitating the course, I learned things about parenting that I wish had known when my children were younger. Again, none us are above learning and becoming better equipped with the tools to better live our lives.

It is when we lack the cognitive, spiritual and practical tools to cope with life, that is when stress and anxiety can become overwhelming and debilitating.

Another area of life where we can be helped along and learn more coping tools is in the area of depression.

Depression is in every family. A lot of it is natural and normal and can be dealt with with understanding support and cognitive and spiritual tools;  a smaller percentage of depression is more acute and may have to be dealt with with medication.

Tonight, Tuesday, May 1, the parish of the Resurrection in South River will be introducing a 4 week course on living with Depression (a Holy Trinity Brompton resource).

The topics for this evening will include: a historical look at depression; the current view of depression; the most important things to remember about depression; and pictures of depression.

None of us are above learning more about how to live a better life.
Let us encourage one another to seek out and plug in to caring communities.
And let us become better equipped to live a more abundant life.