Sunday message by Rev. Pat Bessey
In our mission statement, we have three areas that determine whether we do an event or not. They are: Is it educational, is it service-oriented, and does it create community? On Friday evening the event was a potluck and open mic. This event fulfilled our criteria. And as icing on the cake, it was so much fun. A shout out to Elizabeth Peterson and all who supported her in making this happen. We ate great food, heard from many within and outside our community with singing, original poetry reading and just plain fun and laughter.
Tami-Joy Palmiter had us join her in singing a song from the 13 Grandmothers called Sing the Water Song.
Stay tuned; we will be having a community event on the last Friday of each month with a potluck and a different fun activity.
As we continued with the theme of Awakening in 2020 — To fully awaken to a life of beauty and wonder that Spirit has designed for you — the message on Sunday was “Awaken My Heart to Grace.”
What is God’s Grace?
Lowell Fillmore, son of Charles and Myrtle Fillmore, helps us understand the concept of Grace when he says, “Remember that the grace of God is God’s love in action. God’s grace is unlimited and so wonderful that words can scarcely describe it. We can use such words as mercy, forgiveness, compassion, goodwill, kindness, inspiration, and generosity to describe God’s grace, but they are hardly adequate to cover the fullness of its meaning.”
Here are other definitions of Grace given by Unity authors over the years:
“Grace is God’s gift of love and mercy, given freely to us whether or not we deserve it. We cannot steal, borrow, buy, or earn it. We can only accept or refuse it” (Handbook of Positive Prayer, 151).
This flies in the face of the following…
Did you hear that you didn’t deserve this grace; that it was completely unmerited. Were you ever told that as a sinful human being, you could not possibly merit or deserve the grace of God because you were so flawed and you could never even earn it because you could never be good enough?
“The grace of God extends to all people, not alone to one sect or creed. All men are equal in favor with God.” (Keep a True Lent, 169).
In Psalms 45:2, it reads: “. . . grace is poured upon your lips; therefore, God has blessed you forever.”
And the Apostle Paul wrote: “By grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not our own doing, it is the gift of God – not because of any works . . .”
So, we could say that grace is . . .
* God’s divine love — freely given to all,
* God’s eternal protection — freely given to all,
* God’s ever-present blessings — freely given to all,
* God’s complete givingness — freely bestowed upon all,
* God’s gift of absolute favor — freely given to all.
If this is God’s intention for us, and I believe it is, how is it that this is not how we are seeing people treated in our world today?
“The true nature of God as law is realized not through merit, but through grace — love. No one really feels he has earned love, for love from any source is felt as a free gift, as grace.” (Leddy and Randolph Schmelig, Steps in Self-Knowledge, 89).
In The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo, he writes: “Each person is born with an unencumbered spot – free of expectation and regret, free of ambition and embarrassment, free of fear and worry – an umbilical spot of grace where we were each first touched by God. It is this spot of grace that . . . theologians call it the soul, Jung calls it the Seat of the Unconscious, Hindu masters call it Atman, Buddhists call it Dharma, Rilke [considered the German language’s greatest poet of the 20th Century] calls it Inwardness, Sufis call it Qalb, and Jesus calls it the Center of our Love. To know this spot [of Grace] is to know who we are, not by surface markers of identity, not by where we work or what we wear or how we like to be addressed, but by feeling our place in relation to the Infinite and by inhabiting it.”
Next Sunday we continue with “Staying Awake While Navigating the Wake.”
You are a blessing in my life,
Rev. Patricia Bessey