Thursday, March 8, 2018

All These Things

I have shared in recent posts that “Love – The Religion of Jesus” is my Lenten theme this year, both for my blog posts and my Sunday lessons at Unity Spiritual Center Denver. As I have said previously, with this theme in mind I am reading many of Jesus’ teachings through a different lens, and I am discovering a new perspective from which to embrace them. The following is my attempt to express new insights gained as I read and meditated on a familiar Scripture this morning.

I have frequently used the following Scripture as a basis for written and spoken lessons. As I pondered it today, I felt some discomfort as I realized that my previous understanding of it seemed shallow.

 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear? For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” – Matthew 6: 25 – 33 NRSV

I fear that my personal interpretation of New Thought teaching has given me a perspective that is overly focused on individualism. I am not suggesting that is the intention of New Thought teaching, rather that I have approached it as that. My assumption is that I am not alone. It seems that many of us have done our best to apply the “science of the mind” and the “power of thought” teaching to creating the lives that we want, to manifesting our hearts’ desires, and satisfying our needs. We have taken Jesus’ teachings and interpreted them predominantly for our personal gain.

I am not implying that personal application is not an aspect of the teaching, rather that it is not the ultimate purpose to which Jesus was pointing. Applying the teachings of Jesus to ourselves and learning first-hand the power we possess to manifest in this dimension is essential in our spiritual and human evolutionary process. It is vital to recognize that it is a phase in the process, not the culmination. I am encouraging us to open to the possibility that it is time for us to develop beyond this phase and embrace the broader perspective of the master teacher.

As I read the Scripture today through the lens of “Love – The Religion of Jesus,” I heard his words as a call, not only to awaken to our power of manifestation, but also to the collective vision of the Kingdom of God demonstrated here and now in this time and place upon this planet and in this world.

Jesus is calling us to a higher vision, a vision of what is possible for all. He is asking us to move beyond focusing solely on our individual wants and desires and to hold the vision of sufficiency, equality, and justice for all creation.

Reverend Bruce Sanguin, in his book The Emerging Church, captures the essence of what Jesus was referring to when he talked about the “Kingdom of God.” He says,

“[Jesus’] mission is summarized in a single metaphor – the kingdom of God…I suggest that we drop the “g” and change it to kin-dom of God, reflecting the biological and spiritual truth of evolution that everything derives from common stock.

The metaphor suggests an ethic that reverses cultural norms: the last are first and the first last; the poor are lifted up and the rich sent away empty; the persecuted are blessed; rulers are servants; the well-being of the soul, not the size of one’s bank account, defines the person; true wealth consists not of accumulating money but in allocating it; spiritual wisdom, not political power is the hidden treasure; the humble, not the high and mighty, have access to wisdom; non-violence, not redemptive violence, is God’s way. God’s kin-dom makes for a topsy-turvy life.”

We manifest the Kingdom, or “Kin-dom,” not simply by envisioning it and praying for it, but by taking action toward demonstrating it. It will not happen miraculously, if we think of a miracle as a sudden occurrence that defies natural laws. It will only come when the hearts and minds of humanity awaken to our unity; embrace the vision; and work together to bring it about. When we come together and work toward demonstrating that world, all of our needs will be met, both individually and collectively.

Unity cofounder, Charles Fillmore said,

“If the “kingdom of heaven,” to which Jesus referred, is a city with golden streets in the skies, he could have easily located it; but he did nothing of the kind. On the contrary, he again and again gave illustrations to show his listeners that it is a desirable condition which can be brought about among them by the power of the Spirit.”

Jesus also taught, “It is the Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom” (Luke 12:32). My hope and prayer is that we will embrace the vision and awaken to the present possibility of the Kingdom that Jesus said is already prepared for us (Matthew 25:34). It is awaiting our recognition of it and our willingness to realize it. Now is the time and we are the ones who have the power to bring it into demonstration. Let us be the ones to answer the call and truly live “Love – the Religion of Jesus.”

Join us on Sunday at 10:00 for our service as I share my lesson, “All These Things.” We will explore what we allow to get in the way of our realization of God’s Kin-dom on the Earth and what we can do to move through it.


  1. Thank you. And so it is. Namaste, Amen, Blessed Be.

  2. In her book, Lessons In Truth, author H. Emily Cady writes,

    "9. Each man must sooner or later learn to stand alone with his God; nothing else avails. Nothing else will ever make you master of your own destiny. There is in your own indwelling Lord all the life and health, all the strength and peace and joy, all the wisdom and support that you can ever need or desire. No one can give to you as can this indwelling Father. He is the spring of all joy and comfort and power.
    10. Hitherto we have believed that we were helped and comforted by others, that we received joy from outside circumstances and surroundings; but it is not so. All joy and strength and good spring up from a fountain within one's own being; and if we only knew this truth we should know that, because God in us is the fountain out of which springs all our good, nothing that anyone does or says, or fails to do or say, can take away our joy and good."

    These words resonate with my soul; What matters is my personal relationship with the Divine Spirit within me. Awakening to the reality of this relationship makes it possible for me to see the Kingdom of God all around me. But still, I have no control over other people, places or things. I can hold the vision for others, the knowing that they too are blessed children of Divine Spirit. A Course In Miracles says (paraphrasing) the Holy Spirit is in charge of the atonement, the restoration of God's Kingdom. His plan will work. My part is accept the atonement for myself. I think I can handle that.

    1. Thanks, Glenn. If you go a little further in Lessons in Truth, you will also find the following:

      28. Many today are conscious that the inner hunger cannot be satisfied with worldly goods, and are with all earnestness seeking spiritual understanding, or consciousness, of an immanent God. They have been seeking long, with a great desire of unselfishness and a feeling that when they have truly found God they will begin to do for others. Faithful service for others hastens the day-dawning for us. The gifts of God are not given in reward for faithful service, as a fond mother gives cakes to her child for being good; nevertheless they are a reward, inasmuch as service is one of the steps that leads up to the place where all the fullness of God awaits men. And while spiritual understanding is in reality a "gift of God," it comes to us more or less quickly in proportion as we use the light that we already have.
      29. I believe that too much introspection, too much of what people usually call "spiritual seeking," is detrimental rather than helpful to the end desire -- spiritual growth. "Spiritual seeking" is a sort of spiritual selfishness, paradoxical as this may seem. From the beginning to the end, Jesus taught the giving of what one possesses to him who has none.
      35. Stagnation is death. A pool cannot be kept clean and sweet and renewed unless there is an outlet as well as an inlet. It is our business to keep both the inlet and outlet open, and God's business to keep the stream flowing in and through us. Unless you use for the service of others what God has already given to you, you will find it a long, weary road to spiritual understanding.

    2. David,
      Thanks for your reply! I think we have a slightly different point of view on the question of what are we called to do in the world. I think it is important for us to share our light, but how do we do that? If you are interested in a little further reading, I offer you this link,, which discusses the idea that the Holy Spirit guides us in this work. I am uncomfortable with any church telling me what I need to do, but I do trust the voice of Spirit to guide me. Namaste!

    3. Glenn, I totally agree. I resist any person or institution telling me or anyone what to do. I did not mean to suggest that at all. I believe that we are to follow the inspired action of the indwelling Spirit of truth and Wisdom in all things. My blog is my way of sharing what Spirit is revealing to me and is not intended to be a directive for anyone. I do not claim to be a guru. I welcome diversity of spiritual expression and guidance. I do not believe there is one “right” way to believe or to express Spirit. We are each wondrous and unique expressions of the One. I fully support you and all others in doing what is in alignment with Spirit as you. Blessings

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  4. I appreciate the emphasis you have put on developing our understanding, acceptance, and love for the manifestation of the Divine within ourselves as individuals, for without these we feel powerless and disconnected. It can be a gargantuan task to overcome the false beliefs of inadequacy in order to grasp the vision of our individual roles in sustaining the "kingdom," but the empowerment and love that pour in when we do are well worth the risk of letting go of our comfortable, if limiting beliefs.

    Just as the ecosystems of the world cannot survive individually, neither can we. Together we build life-sustaining infrastructure, whether it be families, sanitation systems, supply chains, or faith communities like Unity Spiritual Center of Denver. I often take for granted all that has been required to create the comfortable environment I enjoy, even when I come to learn and be in community with others at Unity.

    I feel deep appreciation for our community and the opportunities for healing, connection, and growth I have experienced at USCD. I feel ready to open my eyes the the larger vision and become a more active participant in the miracle of love which Jesus taught by pushing beyond my comfort zone and limiting beliefs.

  5. Thank you David - during this season of nonviolence I am reminded of the “beloved community” and Jesus’ teaching to love one another.