Septuagesima, The Gift of Wisdom

Through our desire to create fellowship we often overlook the fellowship of self. We have within us the divine spark, the light of the love and wisdom of God. We often forget to see the beauty within us as we seek to find fellowship outside us. Beauty in music, poetry, art is much less difficult to comprehend; even the beauty and light of others is less difficult to see sometimes than the beauty and light within.

We are drawn into wondrous fellowship through the mystical body of the Church. Who is this Church? This is how I see it. The Church of God is a symbol of form, of thought, of awareness and spiritual consciousness, which is a mental, emotional state of the soul, an understanding of the highest virtues of Wisdom, Love, and Truth. The Church of the Living God, was, is, and ever will be till the end of time seated in the inner sanctuary of the human soul.

Ephesians 5:25-27 says: “Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”

What does this all mean? Inward sanctity, pure love, daily striving to attain constant awareness of the Higher Virtues—these are the things that bring us into fellowship with ourselves and allow us to deepen our fellowship with Christ, all the time aware of God and rejoicing in the priority of God, feeling all power flow out from Him, and sending back the same Love. Goodness, purity, virtue—this is the only distinction in God’s sight. This is intrinsically, essentially everlasting, and by its own nature, lovely, beautiful, glorious, divine. It owes nothing to time, to circumstance, to outward connections. It shines by its own light. It is the Sun of the Spiritual Universe. It is God himself dwelling in the human soul.

As the soul becomes more attuned to the virtues of love and wisdom, we become more radiant, like Christ did upon Mount Tabor. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., once said: “I have seen the mountain top,” an expression, I believe, of that inner reflection of the soul and the mind in harmony with the heart. When we give praise and glory to God, we in return receive all that we have given, and more. And eventually after repeated efforts, we glimpse the mountain top. We continue to strive toward the light, toward the higher virtues until we change our inner appearance into total light. When the inner or true self is revealed, the outer will also shine forth with the same radiance for the love of God. And the Dove will descend and for us declare “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” And actions and understanding and love will become complete. We will stop feeling, as we sometimes do, of going in circles.

We are the Church; within us is the Church. In this house, this Church we have a tabernacle. From today’s Gospel, Peter said: “Lord, it is good for us to be here, let us make here three tabernacles, one for thee, one for Moses, and one for Elias.” So we have within us this tabernacle, and like the tabernacle here there dwells the Holy of Holies. We rarely see what is in the tabernacle; it is usually veiled to us, like this is usually closed. But within is the indwelling God. The nearer we approach perfection, the more closely we are united with God. The tabernacle must have an appropriate structure around it; for us, we must have control over the body. To have awareness of this incredible presence and not to have a disciplined body is like taking this tabernacle outside, opening its door, and leaving it there.

From II Corinthians 5:1-2, “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven.” This could mean that every human being has more than one body. We are usually conscious of possessing one—the physical—but we have a spiritual body, too, in which we will function consciously by and by, when we let go of all earthly limitations. That which is us eternally in God, being of His own being, having its own peculiar means of realizing and expressing itself is the spiritual body. The physical body is a means whereby the spirit becomes conscious of itself and relates to all other beings, seen and unseen.

Our spiritual body, our house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens, needs to be enriched and beautified before it can become an adequate instrument for the expression of the spirit. This is why God has given us a physical body, too. Our life in the physical body is for the purpose of acquiring experience, so that the spiritual body may become a glorious vehicle for the praise and glory of what we eternally are in God.

And now to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, three Persons in one God, be ascribed as is most justly due, all honor, power, might, dominion, majesty, now, henceforth, and forevermore. Amen.

Lee Dunn, Subdeacon

January 23, 2005

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