Spiritual Thanksgiving

The image of living on the earth in harmony with creation and therefore the Creator, is a helpful image for me… Each day we are given is for Thanksgiving for the earth. We are to enjoy it and share it in service of others. This is the way to grow in unity and harmony… It allows for diversity within the unity of the Creator… There are many teachings in the aboriginal North American nations that use the symbol of the circle. It is the symbol for the inclusive caring community, where individuals are respected and interdependence is recognized. In the wider perspective it symbolizes the natural order of creation in which human beings are part of the whole circle of life. Aboriginal spiritual teachers speak of the reestablishment of the balance between human beings and the whole of creation, as a mending of the hoop.

James Treat, Native and Christian: Indigenous Voices on Religious Identity in the United States and Canada (New York: Routledge, 1996), 54-55.
Photo of balls of dew on a leaf, copyright 2020 Maggie Panyko

#Tunesday/#PsalmOfTheDay: Psalm 133

Brothers walking down a path with butterflies

Psalm 133, New Living Translation

Psalm 133, Science of Correspondences

How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony! Psalm 133 v 1

By brother is understood by the Lord the same as by neighbour, and by neighbour in the spiritual sense good in every complexity, which is the good of charity. E. 746- Emanuel Swedenborg

Psalm 133 Sung by St. Thomas Episcopal Chicago Choir

#GoodFriday #Glorify #Unity

The suffering on the cross completed the process of glorification (meaning the uniting of the Lord’s divine-human nature to the divine nature of the Father). The Lord himself says so in the Gospels:

“After Judas left, Jesus said, ‘Now the Son of Humankind is glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and glorify him immediately’” (John 13:31, 32).

Here glorification refers to both God the Father and the Son; it says

“God is glorified in him and will glorify him in himself.”

Clearly this means that they became united.

Emanuel Swedenborg
True Christianity, #128

Seeking the #PerfectChristmas

ncom_Christmas_VillageLessons for those of us trying to pull off a perfect Christmas holiday; excerpted from B. Helton’s informal, post-Thanksgiving service:
Welcome to this very informal service. Not remembering until this past week that I was to lead the service, while desperately trying to prepare for a PERFECT Thanksgiving dinner for my family, I left myself little time to come up with the PERFECT topic and video. Needless to say, my intuition was not working PERFECTLY, if it was even working at all. So while searching for the PERFECT one-part service, which I must admit are few and far between where the time-span would be PERFECT for our no-more-than one hour service, I came across a less-than 40 minute service, “Goodbye Perfectionism!” So that is the service we would have watched if the wi-fi had worked PERFECTLY, which it did not!!!
Seeking perfection can leave us frazzled, paralyzed and dissatisfied.
There are a lot of references to perfection in the bible.
Genesis 17:1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram and said unto him, “I am the Almighty God. Walk before me, and be thou perfect.”
Matthew 5:48 (Jesus’s words) Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father who is in Heaven is perfect.
James 1:4 But let patience have her perfect work, that he may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
But are we seeking the right kind of perfection?
Hebrew TAM or TAMIN was incorrectly translated as perfect, when the meaning did NOT mean without flaw, but WHOLE, WHOLEHEARTED, or COMPLETE, where the goal of WHOLENESS is UNITY WITH GOD.
“Blessed by perfection”

Jesus told his followers to be perfect, “just as your Heavenly Father is perfect.” Clearly, we should try hard to be as good as we can be, but what if perfection eludes us despite our best efforts?

At that point, we might want to give our imperfections a second look. We may find that, ironically, they can be our allies in growing spirituality.

Our weaknesses and imperfections may help us to grow closer to God by forcing us to depend on God. St. Paul writes that on a number of occasions he asked God to remove from him a particularly troubling problem.

But God responded by assuring Paul that his imperfection actually served a purpose in making him realize how much he needed God’s help. God told him “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

Our imperfections can also bring us closer to others, especially to those we might look down upon because of their flaws and weaknesses. Don’t most of us find it hard to be compassionate unless we realize that we, too, have weaknesses?

Recall Jesus’ story of the Pharisee and the tax collector. The Pharisee didn’t admit his own faults. But the tax collector admitted his failings, and Jesus said that his prayers were heard, not those of the Pharisee.

Accepting the fact that we have faults can keep us from being self-righteous and can make us more willing to accept help from other people.

Jesus’ words are still valid. We should be perfect, as our Heavenly Father is. But God is perfect by being who he is, while, paradoxically, we are perfect by being what God created us to be: beings whose very imperfections allow us to be open to God and to one another.