Unity Minister and author Ernest C. Wilson wrote a book called, The Week That Changed The World, which I highly recommend to you, dear readers, if you have not already read it. Feel free to click the image below, in order to purchase it through Unity's online bookstore! We also have several copies available in our Heritage Lending Library; please feel free to borrow one.
The Week That Changed The World
is a wonderful text that explores the 47 events of Holy Week, from Jesus's ride into Jerusalem (
"the Place of Peace"
) on Palm Sunday, to the Resurrection on Easter Sunday... It examines everything in-between, from the "cursing of the fig tree" in Bethany, to the raising of Lazarus from the dead - through a metaphysical lens.
Today, as Good Friday approaches, let us focus on the first of the "Seven Last Words of Jesus," these being the Scriptures attributed to Jesus of Nazareth, as he hung on the cross, dying.
The first of these "Seven Last Words" is, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." Looking at the Bible metaphysically, we know that Jesus represents the inborn Divine potential in us. "We are the inlet and may become the outlet of Divine Ideas," says Eric Butterworth [emphasis added]. We highlight "may become" because, as we often say in Unity, "God can only do for you what God can do through you." God has done all that God can do for you, the rest is up to you. In other words, you are already made whole, in the Image and after the Likeness of God - the very Creative, Divine Process of the Universe Itself.
Nothing - no thing - can prevent you from making manifest all the healing, prosperity, loving relationships - you name it - all that you could possibly desire in your life... Except yourself.
As we say in our Sunday Service each week, the greatest stumbling block we encounter in our human experience as spiritual beings is unforgiveness. As long as we continue to allow other people (or their past acts) to have power over us, we hold ourselves back. We frustrate the Divine creative potential immanent in us. When we forgive, we open the way, in consciousness, to the Divine flow of creativity - which was always accessible to us...
The events of Good Friday parallel the Creation story in Genesis 1 (which continues into the first three verses of Chapter Two). This Creation accounting is an illustration of the Seven Steps ("Days") of Creation utilized by Divine Mind, or God, to bring Divine Ideas into being in the manifest realm. The first of these is, "Illumination," or, if you will, "Let there be Light."
The events of Good Friday are a "roadmap," or a "how-to," for the "release-ment" of Divinity in you - to bring the Divine Idea (the Christ) of you into full bloom. This is yours to achieve, and through prayer, study, and practice of the teachings of Jesus, you can. This is why we are here in Unity; this is our purpose.
The act of forgiveness is a "Let there be Light" moment for us. As Jesus asks His Father (His Higher Self, the Divine Christ within Him) to forgive those who were persecuting Him, martyring Him, beating Him, hanging Him, so we must forgive others - and ourselves. How powerful this gift of forgiveness can be, when we embrace it, unburden ourselves, and allow the Christ of our being to express more fully.
As it is written in yesterday's (March 27, 2018) Daily Word:
Forgiveness is a gift I give to myself. Carrying around the emotional baggage of perceived offenses others have committed against me only serves to weigh me down.
do not have to include those people in my present experience if it is unhealthy for me to do so. Yet holding on to hurt keeps wounds open that might otherwise heal if I
become aware I am letting anger have power over me.
So I examine the things I am holding onto, breathing in the Divine as I explore feelings of fear or pain. I can make peace with my feelings. Their grip on my heart loosens, and I am able to open to new and more loving activities in my life.
Only I am responsible for the power I allow others' actions to have over me, so I give myself the gift of forgiveness.
Join us this Easter Sunday, as we honor the Unity tradition, pioneered by Ernest Wilson in the 1930's, of the "Living Cross" flower ceremony, with Rev. Jan Seward.
In the meantime, I invite you to let
this Holy Week be the week that changes
your world; practice forgiveness
today! In your prayer practice, I invite you to affirm for yourself:
"Let there be Light; let my entire being - mind, body, spirit, soul, my thoughts, words, and deeds - show forth the evidence of the Truth I have come to know and love. I release and let go of past hurts, perceived wrongs, judgments, and resentments. I open myself to the creative possibilities of any challenge that comes my way. I forgive, and I AM free!"