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Worship Materials: The Baptism of Jesus

THEME:            Awareness of Divinity – Access to our Inner Well.

                           Immersion in water – Immersion in the Earth’s life.

 

THOUGHTS FOR REFLECTION

  1. The descent into the waters of our spirit is a journey into the presence of divinity.
  2. Through immersion in the waters of life there comes the realization that to be a child of earth is to be a child of God.
  3. Cleansing is not so much a harsh purification as an acceptance of God’s ever available forgiveness.
  4. To be immersed in the waters of our own Jordan River, is to be immersed in the earth, in our own history, in the cultures of the earth and in the mystery itself.
  5. The awareness of the destructive potential of our immaturities goes hand in hand with awareness of divinity.
  6. The primary water of baptism is the life-giving water of our Inner Christ, source of limitless sustenance for our journey.
  7. We are not liberated solely by the experience of divinity but by the reflective action which should follow.
  8. Let the gift flow, let the fire burn, let the awareness become.
    The spirit breathes in the wind and abides in the flowing.
  9. There is no immersion into the heart of God without immersion    into the life of the world; for the life of the world is contained within the heart of God.
  10. Immersion in the telling of our own story is one of the most
    powerful ways of becoming aware of the Inner Christ, the I AM.
  11. The telling of our story makes us aware of inner strength in the face of difficulty and of the reality of our own Spirituality.
  12. The tears of joy and the tears of pain come from the same river of life.
  13. All human beings are children of God, but not all live in the awareness that there is that of God within them.
  14. How happy are those who are aware;
    for their spirits shall be filled with the life of the universe.
  15. Awareness of divinity leads us into the desert where we are confronted with our need to do business with our shadow in all its complexity.

 

PRAYER

O God of the waters, as Jesus Christ descended into the waters

of Jordan, help us to become immersed in the waters of nature and the waters of the Spirit, that as your children we may see you in all things.

 

HYMNS

You came, O Christ.

www.methodist.org.nz/resources/hymns/boundlesslife

Deep within me is my I AM.

http://www.methodist.org.nz/resources/hymns/the_mystery_telling

You do not need to come O God.

http://www.methodist.org.nz/resources/hymns/the_mystery_telling

What does our God require of us ?

http://www.methodist.org.nz/resources/hymns/the_mystery_telling

 

From Jordan’s clear waters.(Wilderness Living)

Singing the Sacred, Vol 2, 2014 World Library Publications

 

REFRAIN

Between the stillness of the rock.

http://www.methodist.org.nz/resources/hymns/the_mystery_telling

 

POEMS / REFLECTIONS

DOING – NON DOING – UNDOING

In the doing is the undoing

If there is no time for silence,

for reflection,

for nurturing the spirit,

for walking by the still waters of inner paradise.

But equally in the non doing

There can also be the undoing

If there is no dynamic interaction

between action and reflection,

no grieving for the world,

but instead only escape

into personal bliss;

For we are incomplete if our meditation

Does not lead us into a baptism

Of sacramental, sacrificial, sensuous

Immersion into the life

Of the world.

If this does not happen

We might just as well

Not be here at all

But instead

Chant ourselves

Into some other worldly

Ether!

 

REBIRTH

To be reborn is to return to the place of enchantment, of life changing dreaming and of silent flowing – it is to emerge into the present as if the chains of the past had never existed and the call of the future was ever within one’s heart.

 

BAPTISM

Baptism-      the immersion that gives awareness and clarity,

the obedience that brings freedom,

the servanthood that is the source of true leadership.

the public affirmation that reinforces inner strength.

FOCUS FOR ACTION

  1. If God is omnipresent (as traditional Christian belief asserts) then God cannot be said to come or to go. What we are describing when we use such an expression is a changing level of awareness of the divine. What steps could I take to change the language of worship so that it more accurately reflected the above statement, rather than leaving people either to do mental gymnastics or to gain an erroneous idea about God?

 

  1. What new ways of thought or experiences of other cultures, socio­economic or religious groups could I immerse myself in so that I might gain an expanded awareness of divinity?

 

 

Text and image © William Livingstone Wallace but available for free use.

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