A TIME OF RETREAT
1st DAY OF LENT – A 40 DAYS FAST/FEAST FOR THE NEW GOLDEN AGE
(These devotionals can be best understood by reading them in order)
Nancy B. Detweiler, M.Ed., M.Div.
A Light for my Path
For centuries, Christians have celebrated the 40 days of Lent by focusing on Jesus and his ministry. We have ignored Jesus’ teaching: “The one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these.” (John 14:12) Jesus also makes plain in the Gospel of John that it is our Father/Mother God who speaks through him. Jesus does not speak for himself.
The reason all those who believe in our Father/Mother God, who dwells within each of us, can do the works that Jesus did is because we, like Jesus, can learn to be expressions of the kingdom of God within us in our daily lives.
We are to learn to live our lives as Sons and Daughters of God. Jesus, our elder brother, reveals the Path to us.
As we move into the New Golden Age, one of the first things we are to comprehend on a deep level is that we are Sons and Daughters of Father/Mother God.
Jesus responded to the Jews preparing to stone him: “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, you are gods?'” (John 10:34)
He is quoting Psalm 82:6 … “I say, ‘You are gods, children of the Most High, all of you.”
“Then God said, ‘Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness…. So God created humankind in his image.” (Genesis 1:26-27) If we were created in Father/Mother God’s image and likeness, then the only thing we can be is child gods!
So why do we think we are dust? Why do we so readily accept the religious teachings that we are sinners?
As the Psalmist lamented: “I say, ‘You are gods, children of the Most High, all of you; nevertheless, you shall die like mortals, and fall like any prince.” (Psalm 82:6-7)
The Psalmist explains why we think we are dust in verse 5: “They have neither knowledge nor understanding, they walk in darkness….”
We have allowed religions to tell us we are nothing but dust, sinners who must repent. Yes, many of us do walk in darkness … the darkness of not understanding the message of Jesus—“You are gods.”
Ash Wednesday – A Day of Turning Around
Repentance means to turn around … to change the focus of our attention. May this Ash Wednesday be the beginning of our dedication to understanding exactly who we are. Who did Jesus teach us we are?
Heretofore, religions have taught us to look outside of ourselves for God. God has been proclaimed as separate from us.
On this Ash Wednesday, may we turn around and look within ourselves—for there is where we find God.
“Once Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, and he answered, ‘The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; nor will they say, Look, here it is! or There it is! For in fact, the kingdom of God is within you.’” (Luke 17:20-21)
Jesus makes plain that the kingdom of God is not something outside of ourselves that can be seen or located. It is within us!
May the Lenten Season of 2013 be a period of 40 days during which we look within for God … get to know the Father/Mother God who lives within us … begin to learn how to live as Jesus lived—as an expression of God within us.