Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Most Important Gift

The idea for today’s post is excerpted from an article by The Miracle Distribution Center, Anaheim, CA, a wonderful organization supporting A Course in Miracles.
“Many of the old Christmas-time movies have wonderful spiritual messages to them. One of our all time favorites is It’s a Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart, but The Bishop’s Wife is another holiday gem. It stars Cary Grant as an angel named Dudley and David Niven as the Bishop. As the plot plays out, the Bishop thinks Dudley is there to help him with his all-consuming task of raising money so that an edifice to God can be built in the form of a new cathedral. But Dudley is really there because of the Bishop’s prayer for help — and real help is what the angel offers!
“We want to offer a little of the “good feeling” from this movie by sharing the poignant Christmas Eve message that the transformed Bishop delivers. We hope you enjoy this reminder of the true message of Christmas. …
Tonight I want to tell you the story of an empty stocking. Once upon a midnight clear there was a child’s cry. A blazing star hung over a stable and wise men came with birthday gifts.
“We haven’t forgotten that night down the centuries. We celebrate it with stars on Christmas trees, with the sound of bells, and with gifts, especially with gifts. You give me a book. I give you a tie. Aunt Martha has always wanted an orange squeezer, and Uncle Henry could do with a new pipe.
“Oh, we forget nobody… adult or child. All the stockings are filled. All that is, except one. And we have even forgotten to hang it up. A stocking for the child born in a manger. It’s his birthday we are celebrating. Don’t let us ever forget that. Let us ask ourselves what he would wish for most and then let each put in his share: loving kindness, warm hearts, and the stretched out hand of tolerance. All the shining gifts that make peace on earth.
These are such beautiful thoughts – Loving kindness, Warm hearts, and the Stretched out hand of tolerance - the shining gifts that make for peace on earth. Why can’t I enjoy these thoughts all the time?
Because I choose not to, that’s why. Huh? Yep! I choose not to enjoy these thoughts of happiness and bliss and helpfulness. I choose to concentrate my thoughts on my perceived problems of the day, the perceived problems I think are facing the world, the perceived problems I think my neighbors must be having, the perceived problems I think my spouse, family or friends must be facing.
Key word? Perceiving!
Lesson 346 of A Course in Miracles (ACIM) states: “Today the peace of God envelops me and I forget all things except His Love.” The lesson consists of a very beautiful prayer that resonates with this Christmas message from The Bishop’s Wife.
1. Father, I wake today with miracles correcting my perception of all things. And so begins the day I share with You, as I will share eternity, for time has stepped aside today. I do not seek the things of time, and so I will not look upon them. What I seek today transcends all laws of time and things perceived in time. I would forget all things except Your Love. I would abide in You, and know no laws except Your law of love. And I would find the peace which You created for Your Son, forgetting all the foolish toys I made as I behold Your glory and my own.
2. And when the evening comes today, we will remember nothing but the peace of God. For we will learn today what peace is ours, when we forget all things except God's Love.
As Alan Watson writes [A Workbook Companion, Volume II, Circle Publishing, 2006. P. 624]: “… I know there is a part of me that resonates in perfect harmony with this lesson, but there is also another part that stands off cynically and says to me, ‘Forget all things except His Love? Hah! More likely you will remember everything except His Love. How long will this high-falutin’ attitude last after you walk out the door?’ And, if this is so, why bother with the lesson at all?”
Unfortunately, that describes me most of the time. But there are instances where I really feel that sense of unity and calm. Watson goes on to say: “…So, as we read this lesson now, let us simply suspend our disbelief for just an instant, and let these words be true for us. Let us believe that what we say represents our true Self, for it does. Let us be in the spirit of these words.”
“Each little gift you offer to your brother lights up the world.” (ACIM, T-22.VI.9:9) Loving kindness, Warm hearts, and the Stretched out hand of tolerance the shining gifts that make for peace on earth.
This is my Christmas message to each of you. We will be leaving for Portland Oregon shortly to spend the holiday with my daughter’s family. I will resume after the New Year.
Although these messages are mostly for me, thanks for listening. As always – feel free to forward this message to your friends, family, and those accompanying you on your spiritual journey.
#3 December, 2013

Copyright, 2013

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