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"Embody Spirit and Experience Grace"

by Rev. Jan Mahannah

Today, January 6, is Epiphany on the Christian calendar.  It is a day to remember the Wise Men traveling from distant places to arrive at the Holy Child’s domicile bringing gifts.  The gifts honored the potential of this child, who in maturity would bring inspiration of God’s living presence with us and teach the gospel of Love – a potential Master Teacher yet unrealized in his infancy, yet recognized by spiritual Wise Men.  In traditional Christianity, this date – Epiphany – is to celebrate the manifestation of the divine nature of Christ to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi.  (It’s interesting that the word epiphany is also used to describe a sudden intuitive realization or perception of reality.)

I was remembering the Tibetan Buddhist sacred tradition of recognizing their next spiritual leader, the next holy Dalai Lama, in a child identified as a reincarnation of a past sacred leader.  In infancy, once identified as the Holy Child, that child would  be brought up first by their birth parents but then at a young age, transferred to the lamasery to be taught by designated priests in preparation for their role in bringing inspiration to their people.  They recognized the innate holiness – sacredness of  the chosen child, before it was manifested.

My hope for us today is to have an epiphany – a sudden intuitive realization or perception of reality of ourselves as holy children of God – growing into maturity to live our lives fully with LOVE and to inspire others through our Being – and perhaps our teaching as well.

*Unity’s Theme for the New Year 2019 is:  (“One God), “One Humanity, Many Stories”.  Communication from Unity World Wide Ministry for this New Year states:  “We are all one. Despite the appearance of separate bodies, individual personalities, and different pursuits, we are one humanity.  Like a prism divides light into a rainbow of colors, we humans express God in infinite ways thus the theme for 2019 is “Óne Humanity, Many Stories”.  

January’s Monthly Theme is:  “Welcoming Grace” and Our Affirmation for this January is:  “Grace is an upward pull of the universe, lifting me to the heights of my divine nature.”

I believe that we are here to realize that we Embody Spirit and to Experience God’s Grace`.

Charles Fillmore, cofounder of Unity – defined Grace as:  “Grace is the pure unconditional love of God perpetually operative and expressing towards all humankind.  The grace of God is God’s love in action.To accept grace, the gift of God’s love for us, is to step into a world that is larger, deeper, richer, and fuller – it is to step into a consciousness of unconditional love.

But how do we – not only talk about Grace but to go further – how do we embody this great gift of unconditional love?

  1.  To become aware of Grace as God’s unconditional love in action in our personal lives
  2.  To live in Grace – to embody Grace – to be forgiven by Grace

What does it mean to embody something   Webster:  “To embody – is to represent in or as if in bodily form; to personify; to materialize”

It is not until we ‘embody’ some divine idea or power – that it truly belongs to us – until then it is simply “a great idea”, an inspiring idea”… a positive thought but not a thought living out in our body, in our moment by moment living experience until we embody it. It remains in the mental realm only until we embody it….

Quotes: 

Webster:  Grace – Divine love and protection bestowed freely on human beings…Protection or sanctification by the favor of God…an excellence or power granted by God.

Ramamkrishna:  The winds of grace are always blowing, but YOU have to raise the sail.” The winds of grace move across the waters of life.  We can’t control or earn grace but we must be willing to receive it.

Sufi poet Jelaluddin Rumi:  “Something opens our wings.  Something makes boredom and hurt disappear.  Someone fills the cup in front of us.  We taste only sacredness then, touched by grace.”

Buddhist Joanna Macy:  Grace happens when we act with others on behalf of our world.”  An attitude of caring is a natural outgrowth of grace and our continual partaking of the divine.

John Wesley:  “Through the bounty of grace we discover the Divine Guest inside us.”

Again – Charles Fillmore:  “Grace is the pure unconditional love of God perpetually operative and expressing towards all humankind.  The grace of God is God’s unconditional love in action.

The word grace is synonymous with love.  It is unconditional, impartial and unsolicited. It is continually operative and fully accessible to all. We do not earn grace but we can resist it by holding thoughts and feelings opposed to the nature of love, which is our true nature.

The consciousness that Jesus demonstrated in the Gospel according to John is call grace consciousness because it exemplifies a mind and heart fully awakened and expressing from the nature of being which is the nature of love.  This is the “fullness” that is spoken of in John 1:16-17

“The law was given through Moses.”  The law referred to here is understood as “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” This is known as even-exchange.  In Unity we refer to this law as the law of mind actionThoughts held in mind produce after their kind; like begetting like; like attracting like; what you sow in consciousness, you reap in manifestation, etc..  This law, Jesus tells us, will not be mocked. 

However when Jesus came to earth he brought a greater understanding of this one great law.  He brought the understanding of its fulfillment.  He said, “Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them.” (Mt. 5:17)  How does he fulfill the law?  By expressing on every level of being, pure, unconditional love to all humankind.  “Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law” (Rom 13:10) We can always interchange the word grace for love and it is for this reason that we make the statement: “Grace is the fulfillment of the law!”

  • The grace of God is God’s unconditional Love in action.
  • Grace is God’s gift of love and mercy, given freely to us whether or not we deserve it.
  • The grace of God extends to ALL people, not alone to one sect or creed.
  • The true nature of God as law is realized, not through merit but through grace or love.  .
  • God’s grace is the gift of God appearing on earth as us.  All that God is we are too, once we have overcome our religious superstition and ignorance.
  • Grace is an inner realization that we are already one with God, and as such God’s goodness, God’s love for us unconditionally flows continuously through us and all of our affairs – unless we stop it with doubts, fears, or un-forgiveness. The only separation between God and us is a false belief in our egoic mind.
  • Grace is simply the truth of Being of that which we already are…God’s love in expression here and now.

We are created in the image and likeness of God for we are God out-pressing as us; therefore our true nature is the same as the force that created us which is God-love.  When our consciousness expresses from its true nature, grace is the experience.   But when our consciousness expresses from some other state, such as resentment, unforgiveness, fear, anger, resentment, and so on, then pain and suffering result.  We can never be separated from the activity of grace, but we can feel as though we are whenever we function from a level of mind-heart that is foreign to our Christ nature of love.

Grace is the name given to the aspect of divine law which does NOT deal in even exchange but deals in the increase of good through greater giving. Grace is the regenerative power of love that literally saves us from the full measure of our mistakes.

Grace is the most benevolent activity of God known to humankind.  It heals, purifies, regenerates, and restores us to our natural state of whole (holy) ness.  Grace explains the inadequacy of the idea of karma, the endless cycles of cause and effect.  It is true that as you sow so do you reap.  Yet God’s desire to express completely through you and as you is so great that you never completely reap the harvest of error, and you always reap more good than you sow.  This is grace and it does not deal in even-exchange but in the increase of good.  By the grace of God, a criminal is still loved by God and can find forgiveness and ultimate rehabilitation through an activity of love that transcends law.

Grace is always seeking to express an abundance of good in our lives whether we think we deserve it or not.  The nature of God is always giving!  When we accept this truth, believing that God knows ways to bless us that we don’t consciously know of, we open ourselves to the divine flow of opulent good, which far exceeds any good we can imagine for ourselves.

Every thought and feeling attuned to love brings into manifestation an increase of good.  When we are aligned with the nature of being, which is love, we are in the natural flow of the creative process of grace…we are then embodying grace.

Healing through Grace:  Healing through grace comes when we make contact with the Christ Mind within us and allow It to pour its transforming energies into the deep soul levels of consciousness.  Prayer and meditation; an appreciation for beauty; a grateful heart – these are some of the ways we make the Christ connection, the connection to unconditional love in the moment.  The only other requirement for healing through grace is that we become willing to surrender all memories that are not of God’s loving vibrations.

Solo:  Amazing Grace

Meditation:  In all I see, hear and do I revel in God’s amazing grace.  God’s amazing grace is sufficient for me – now and always”

As I enter into this silent time of communion with God, I am also entering into a time of being fully present in and accepting of the unconditional, ceaseless love of my Creator for me, and for all.

In this time of communion, I remember that God’s amazing grace is always inviting me to rise, look ever forward, and embrace my greater good.  I feel the blessed assurance now of God’s gift of grace.

I am a beloved child of God and because I am, God provides me with a clean slate each and every day.  I am always able to write a new more fulfilling chapter of my life.  My story is one of grace as I love myself and others unconditionally and see only joy, promise, and potential in my own life and in the lives of those around me.  God’s amazing grace is sufficient – now and always.  Amen.

JANUARY SPEAKERS:

January 6 – Rev Jan Mahannah

January 13 – Rev Jan Mahannah- Cancelled

January 20 – Rev Sharon Allmond – Cancelled

January 27 – Rev Jan Mahannah

ARMAND AND ANGELINA