The Trip to Bethlehem – Week 3

Sunday message by Rev. Pat Bessey

It is just seven days before Christmas and although your calendar may be full be sure to take time each day for prayer and meditation. It is in these high activity times we need it more than ever.

Today’s daily reading from Sr. Joan Chittister says, “Christmas is the morning when we all remember what life has been created for: the joy of living it, the sense of achievement that comes with doing it well, the awareness that great delight comes out of darkness if we give ourselves to the mystery of it.”

Meditation is where we delight in the mystery!

The Trip to Bethlehem continued Sunday as we followed Mary and Joseph to the world census which was in Bethlehem. It was there that the birth occurred; however, before we get to the birth let’s look at some of the metaphysical meanings of this centuries-old story.

As I have said you are the final authority on the meaning, so these are the signposts along the way.

World Census symbolizes a time when all beliefs, thoughts and feelings that were gained from the material environment are called to account.

Bethlehem, a city that represents the consciousness of omnipresent substance or the consciousness that teaches us that God is the source and sustenance of life, the provider of all our needs.

Animals represent the instinctual consciousness that has been tamed to serve the Christ or the evolved aspects of our soul.

Gold stands for wealth.

Frankincense represents transformation – a change from a lower state of being to a higher one.

Myrrh symbolizes the infinite wheel of life – and in the Christmas story, foreshadows the resurrection of Jesus.

Peace is what Christmas is all about, no matter how you interpret it.

Here are some simple ideas for you to experience peace during this holiday season and every day..

P.E.A.C.E.

P — begin with a positive attitude.

Even amid grinch-like people, or Ebenezer Scrooge himself…keep your positive attitude.

E — is for expectation.

The manifestation of your expectation is not another person’s responsibility.
• What is your expectation?
• Is it inflexible?
• Is there room for adjustment and error?
• Is there room for God to provide a greater blessing?

A — is for acceptance…

I accept each person for who they are, as they are. It is not another person’s mission to be who or what I want them to be.

To accept the person does not mean to approve of negative behavior, but to accept in spite of it.

C — is for Consecration.

Consecrate your life to its highest expression as a child of God.

E — is for Endurance.

Challenges and differences of opinion are a natural part of our uniqueness and diversity. Enduring tolerance is a key to peace. We endure our differences.

Peace be with you, in this most holy of seasons.

Join me next Sunday as we complete the journey that leads to a whole and wondrous Spiritual Life…that leads to our personal transformation…

You are a blessing in my life,
Rev. Patricia Bessey

P.S. Come to the Family Winter Solstice Celebration on Saturday at 4:30 – 7 p.m.… the celebration includes a candle lighting around the labyrinth, Sufi dancing, potluck and more.

Radical Option

Sunday message by Jack Seery (audio)

Message from Rev. Pat Bessey:

Today is the 37th day of Lent, which means we are just days away from the great experience called Easter. We are smack dab in the middle of Holy Week. Holy Week is the week where Jesus had a strong “knowing” of what was his to do. He had to enter Jerusalem, where he had been warned there was much danger for his life. Why the persistent proceeding? If he was to be slain it must be in Jerusalem, fulfilling the prophecy. And it must be at the time of the Passover. This great tragedy could have been avoided. But he refused to accept all counsel and did what he “knew” was his to do. Have there been times in your life like this also? Might there even be one like this for you now? Little opportunities like this seem to come to me almost daily of letting go of old ways of thinking/seeing/doing/being less than Love.

This past Sunday, which was Palm Sunday, Jack Seery shared his reflections on the scene at the time of Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem and the juxtaposition between the Roman army under Pilate’s leadership coming into the city from one direction with their pomp and circumstance and horses and chariots armed with swords ready to do crowd control. They were fearing there would be demonstrations, knowing this rebel rouser named Jesus was on his way. At the other end of town was Jesus, the compassionate, peaceful and loving teacher coming in with his band of merry men and women riding on a donkey. The crowds that had been collecting as he made his way to Jerusalem were cheering him and waving palms in a celebratory way as they welcomed this man who was preaching love, forgiveness, nonviolence and a God of Love.

We know how the story goes and the events leading up to the big event. This Thursday evening, join Jack Seery and me as we remember the last meal Jesus has with his disciples and then goes off to the garden to pray. The theme for the evening is Sacred Meal. We will be offering a physical communion and an extended meditation time. Please join us.

On Sunday will be our Easter celebration, which includes a flower service. Come one, come all!!!

You are a blessing in my life.
Rev. Patricia Bessey