Like Looking at the Sun

Part 2 in Series: What Makes A Christian?

It is amazing how often we fail a most basic mark of the faith.

It is a downright scandal how rarely it is preached.

It’s questionable how directly our religious and moral practices stem from it.

Yet if we believe the direct words of Jesus Himself–you know, God–the very ability of others to recognize our Christian identity is dependent on how we follow this.

We gather in churches. We have elaborate worship and praise. And yet we barely give lip service to the first and foremost of the commandments. When we do, it is often to give exceptions–No, Jesus didn’t really mean that. . .

I’m talking about the Greatest Commandment–love God and love neighbor. Abundantly.

read more

The Elephant in the Living Room

Part 1 of the series, What Makes a Christian?

In John 13:34-35, Jesus states that our very public witness of our Christian identity itself depends on whether or not we love one another. Otherwise, people will not recognize that we are indeed Christians. Jesus tells us to follow his example. Jesus not only gives the commandment to love, but also states that His life has modeled this love.

read more

The Mystic Bible

Every once in awhile, we come across resources that are not easily available to our global readership and we feel l it necessary to support and offer them. This kind of creative work we support helps people all along the spectrum understand our intent and theology. The Mystic Bible is perfectly balanced on the progressive spectrum, meaningful for people who are deeply connected to the stories of the Bible, mystical and poetic, and yet innovative and theologically progressive.

read more

Did you vote for Donald Trump? Because your salvation apparently depends on it.

A few weeks back, right-wing Christian activist, David Barton, made the following statement in hopes of getting Christians to cast their vote for the GOP’s potentially fascist and definitely anti-Christ candidate, Donald Trump: We will stand before …

read more

Matthew 13 Revisited

Matthew: The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed
Martha: Which a woman hid in three measures of meal.

read more

Blessing Litany

One: A Blessing on you who are poor
Many Yours is the household of God
One A blessing on you who mourn
Many: you shall be comforted

read more

Make the Week Holy

This coming week we have the opportunity to enact our faith with those fleeing violence and seeking sanctuary in our country. Doing so is how we can actually make Holy Week holy.

read more

The Lament over Jerusalem

As Christian people we all too often pay lip service to the fact that the political and religious context in which Jesus lived, thought and died, was one of economic, political and military domination by the Roman Empire. We also often fail to realise that this was also both the context in which the Christian scriptures were written and the life and death of Jesus was interpreted. Failure to understand these Jewish contexts leads Christians and the Church to misinterpret the underlying message and meaning of the life and death of Jesus the Jew of Nazareth. Whether we like it or not, I am convinced that Jesus had a political agenda as well as an agenda of compassion.

read more

Made On Earth – How the gospel writers created the Christ

NEW TITLE RELEASE 21st January 2016

In this book Lorraine Parkinson sets out compelling reasons why the gospels may be found to have been ‘made on earth’. She builds a strong argument that each gospel was written to make a distinct case for Jesus as the Christ. She presents detailed evidence that the Christ of the gospels is the creation of Mark, Matthew, Luke and John, plus later editors. The sub-text of this book contends that by including teachings of Jesus alongside claims for him as Christ, gospel writers bequeathed to Christianity two contradictory gospels – the gospel of Jesus and the gospel about Jesus.

read more

A Joyful Path, Year One, Lesson 8: Learning from Mistakes

If we look honestly at our mistakes and listen within for guidance, we will discover our true identity as an unlimited spirit.

read more

A Joyful Path, Year One, Lesson 10: Sharing

When we share, our awareness grows beyond our little self to a broader reality.

read more

A Joyful Path, Year One, Lesson 14: Service

Through service we find love and truth in action. When we serve with love and compassion, those whom we serve become brothers and sisters, not the others.

read more

A Joyful Path, Year One, Lesson 17: Non-Greed

To be anxious and fearful of our own needs means we are forgetting who we really are. Spending all of our time and energy acquiring possessions means we are looking outward for satisfaction and neglecting the only source of true happiness — our eternal identity as spirit.

read more

Matthew Fox Interview with Eric Alexander: Part 2 of 3: What is the Cosmic Christ

This is Part 2 of an interview between Eric Alexander and Matthew Fox. In this clip Eric asks what the word Christ means to Matthew, and whether that answer could reframe what it means to call oneself a Christian, and Matthew offers an insightful response.

read more

A Joyful Path, Year One, Lesson 24: Infinite Possibilities in Each Moment

Most people would define work as something that is hard to do and creativity as something fun. But when we are open to the sacred guidance that is abundant in the universe, work and creativity become the same thing. The most creative and inspiring work can be accomplished when we are open to all possibilities.
Being open to infinite possibilities means letting inspiration flow freely — and not blocking that flow with thoughts of what we want to happen or what other people might think of what we are doing.
Children can learn to feel for the right direction within and to recognize that every impulse is not the right one simply because it is there. Every time we remember to put our highest self in charge, the more inner joy and freedom we experience.

read more

A Joyful Path, Year One, Lesson 26: A Heavy Load

It seems to be human nature to weigh down our hearts with the past and project our minds into the future. Jesus admonished his listeners to forgive, to love, to be merciful, and to give up worry about the future or the past, long before “living in the moment” was an over-used phrase.
Every true spiritual teacher tells us that the joy we are seeking lies within our hearts now. The past cannot be changed. The future is unknown. Letting go of regrets and worries frees our energy to be focused on the infinite potential of the present moment. To make the choice to live joyfully in this moment is true freedom — the freedom to be who we are.

read more

A Joyful Path, Year One, Lesson 27: Forgiving and Healing

There is abundant love within each of us, but even when we try to act as messengers of love in the world, we often mess up the message. Like the old game of telephone, where a message is passed along and completely mixed up by the time it reaches the end of the line, we mix up divine love with our own desires, confusions, and misunderstandings and end up hurting one another. Then we must forgive.
Getting children to say the words, “I forgive you,” is not enough. True forgiveness is inward and will actually remove the hurts we have from our hearts, like pulling weeds in a beautiful garden. Forgiving is not simply a gift we give someone who has wronged us, either; it is a step in our own spiritual growth that will enable our hearts to blossom as intended.

read more

A Joyful Path, Year One, Lesson 28: Security

When our identity is defined in outward ways, we are going to feel insecure because outward definitions always change. If we understand our identity as changeless spirit, then it is easier to let go of our attachment to our physical self. Jesus and other spiritual teachers have taught us that a spiritual path and our experiences on that path will lead us to a deeper understanding. It isn’t enough to just read the words or have the beliefs — we need to act in harmony with those beliefs in order to be more aware of who we really are.
The world will tell us that our security depends on money in the bank or the right clothes or an important job, but we know all those things are temporary. True security that lasts forever comes from discovering the reality that we are spiritual beings. With that knowledge, we can face anything, even our fear of death. We can’t force children to feel secure, but we can encourage them to find that truth within themselves and live from that experience. We can also talk about death in a way that is not fearful. Our Western society does much to teach fear of death. We may not know what happens after we die, but if we are secure in the knowledge that our true self does not die, it only grows and evolves, then we need not fear death or any outward physical changes that happen to our human body.

read more