UCFW Sunday Message – September 10th, 2017

Led and piano’d by Professor Alastair.

Good morning and peace to you this day in the Light. Let us give thanks for the breath in our lungs, the opportunities of each new day, and take comfort in the fact that we are all here together. Sometimes that’s not a comforting thought– sometimes it may seem like life would be easier if certain individuals were not in it, but we each serve a purpose, even seemingly antagonistic people. It is not necessary we like everyone, but it is necessary we respect their life here. We are each born of the Light, and while some wander astray, I still believe that for as long as there is life, there is the possibility for change and reconciliation.

I don’t believe Heaven has gates. I don’t believe Heaven is a place, per se. Rather, I think Heaven is true freedom of the soul; by very definition a Free Heaven cannot have gates or walls. I don’t believe there’s a man sitting at a door with your life’s scorecard, waiting to count your good points to see if you make it into the club. Whether or not you “make it to Heaven” is strictly between you and God, and is no one else’s business. No one else can get you into Heaven, and no one else can deny you entry. How you choose to define God (whether you want to include Christ in your concept, for instance) is up to you, but nonetheless, your fate lies with you and your relationship with the Light.

I also don’t believe one has to define God in any particular way, complete a specific series of tasks, or adhere to a certain set of rules. Rather, I believe if one desires the fulfillment of the soul and the freedom of Heaven, one must only turn one’s face to the Light. Reach for God, and God will reach back for you. The transformation that happens as a result, what you do with the power of knowing God and the courage of having the Light at your back, is up to you. My God is a loving God– a loving God doesn’t care what you call Him (or Her or Them), nor whether you did everything right. You are only human; God doesn’t expect you to do everything right. A loving God cares about one thing: Love— do you have Love in your heart? Is there Love enough for God, humanity, and yourself? If there is Love in your heart, you need fear no Darkness, for where there is Love, the Light is with you. Love is what ties us together and ties us to God. Heaven is where all who know Love unite. I imagine there will be some surprise to find out who is there and who isn’t, because sometimes Love is hard to see, and other times great deeds are done in the name of loving altruism but are motivated by self-serving greed. Only true Love makes us immortal. Act by any other motivation, and you do not act in the name of God.

Do not worry about the fate of your soul; worry about the needs of the people around you, worry about the presence of hatred in the world, worry about how you will reach the people who need you. This is worthy worry– this is the worry of Love, and if this what worries you, your soul will be fine. If you look at what is happening to your fellow man, and you feel pain somewhere in your heart, then you know Love: act on it. Love cannot be passive. The Light is not passive. We, as agents of the Light, cannot be passive. We must turn our pain and our Love into action which spreads Love. Love is a cumulative and contagious force. Let us pursue it boldly, and may our lives be mirrors to reflect the Light.

Amen and namaste.

Sunday Message – September 3rd, 2017

Led by Professor Alastair.

Good morning, and peace to you this day in the Light. We give thanks for the breath in our lungs, the earth below our feet, and the stars above us. We give thanks for the life we have lived, the things we have learned, and we look with hopeful eyes toward the horizons we’ve yet to reach.

I want to speak today about fear. It is a personal subject, a darkness which brushes each of us indiscriminately. Fear is a tool of survival, and should be nothing more. Fear is one of the last remaining chains on humanity, what keeps us from “boldly going,” and from healing the open wounds in the world around us. Fear is what makes us distrustful of one another. Fear is what stokes war, and perpetuates prejudice. Fear is what keeps people silent when they should speak, keeps them home when they should take up the banner, keeps their heads down and their eyes blind.

All around us are reminders to fight fear. In ‘Dune,’ it’s, “Fear is the mind killer.” FDR said, “The only thing we have to fear is Fear itself.” In Star Wars, fear is a path to the Dark Side. In the Bible, the most repeated phrase is, “Fear not.” Every great story involves the mastery of fear– because it is so important to becoming the powerful forces we are meant to be.

What is fear to us? Why does it hold such sway? The root of all fear, I believe, lies in the fear of death– either literally or the metaphorical loss of what one considers one’s life. While the means by which death might find us can be frightening, death itself is only frightening if you think it means the end of you. Death marks the end of the body– your atoms and borrowed energy will be returned to the Earth and recycled in the ongoing ecosystem of life– but death does not mark the end of the soul, merely the release of it. The part of you which is not of this world, the part capable of thinking beyond it, the part which feels the pull of the Light and the threat of Darkness, the part which longs for connection, knowledge, and meaning– this part of you was not born of the Earth. Therefore, what is fear to a soul of Light? Whatever this world may do to you, keep your heart turned toward the Light, and there is nothing that can touch your soul.

When we consciously work to put fear in its place, to remind ourselves it is a part of our survivalist brain, and not part of our greater being, we can become powerful forces for Light. There is a reason we are commanded not to fear, for fear is what keeps us from being the Light’s hand in the world. We are soldiers and peacemakers, seekers and teachers; there is no place for fear in a life of Light. Fear will keep us from reaching the ones who need the Light most. Fear will keep peace from taking root. Fear makes us distrust anything that is different, and in this wild and varied universe, everything is unique– to fear difference is to fear everything. The brilliant variety of Life is its strength, just as the diversity of humanity is what makes it enduringly beautiful, despite its pain. We are each part of this marvelous expanse. Let us reach for it with wondering and compassionate hands, lest fear be met with fear.

Amen and namaste.

Sunday Message – August 27, 2017

Led (and piano’d) by Professor Alastair.

Good morning, and peace to you this day in the Light. We give thanks for the small mercies and blessings in our lives, and the glimpses of beauty and kindness, which remind us of the Light’s presence. In times of division, it is important to remember we are all part of the same tapestry of life; children of the same creative being, regardless of what name or story you choose to ascribe to it. From the same Maker’s hands, from the same Light, taking part in the same glorious expanse of Life, we are each connected to the other, and everything else.

The noise of the angry world makes it easy to lose sight of these connections, but without them, it is difficult to trust anyone, and more difficult still to make peace. It is to the Darkness’s favor to have us squabbling amongst ourselves over things, each so convinced we are right, everyone has forgotten how to listen.

I believe silence is an integral part of life. Without it, you’ll go mad with the noise of living. It is in the silence that we are able to hear God, and hear others. Without pausing to listen we will lose sight of the inherent connection we have with the world around us, and our ability to make peace with those who are different from us. If we do not take the time to listen, observe, and understand, we will be lost in the chaos ourselves.

Being silent requires a dash humility, for it allows as how one does not already have all the information. Every person in the world knows something you don’t. We are both teachers and students in our time here, crossing paths with others who give us opportunities to share ideas and learn something new– things we cannot do successfully if we close ourselves off to the rest of the world.

Let us look, then, with wonder on the world around us, and not with fear. The Light is with us, and we were made to be part of this grand scene of creation. Though there is rage aplenty, let us walk with peace, and offer an open hand to the clenched fist. Let us be the first to offer silence, a chance to listen and learn, a refuge from the noise. Let us show our strength by the depth of our love, the force of our kindness, and the peaceful endurance of our hope.

Amen and namaste.

Sunday Message – August 6th, 2017

Led by Professor Alastair.

Good morning, and may be well met this day in the Light. We give thanks for the skies above us, which remind us change is constant. We give thanks for the water, which nourishes life and teaches us that patient persistence will win. We give thanks for the earth under our feet, for the history and promise it imparts. We give thanks for the fire, which warms and warns us, and teaches us to respect the things we would control. We rejoice in our being, for we are fearfully and wonderfully made, and we rejoice in being part of the beautiful expanse called Life.

It is easy, I think, to lose sight of the wonders around us. People never stop talking, machines grind on unknowing of time, the media at all hours tells us of the evil swirling over the land, and all at once it seems a noisy and dangerous world. That is one face of it, I won’t deny, but it has many others too. In the midst of horror, there are always people who are brave and selfless. Even in the loudest of cities grow the most audacious flowers.

The world is full of little wonders if you look, little slivers of Light breaking through the cracks where evil break it. This is why I hope. At times, hope seems a foolish thing– a remnant of childhood, indicative of naivety and inexperience. I say it isn’t, not always. Sometimes hope is all that is left of a soul when it has passed through the trials of the world. I say if there remains hope, then there remains strength and direction, and those things are not foolish, not in any circumstance. Hope is a defiant thing. Hope, I believe is the thread which tethers us to the Light, the thing which enables faith, and sustains us when faith deserts us. For it is possible to hope for something, without having faith it will be there. Hope is all that is needed for Light, for hope is simply act of turning your face toward what you hope will be better. It is by Love that the Light is waiting at that turn. So long as there is hope, the Light will find you.

So walk with a hopeful spirit. You needn’t have unshakeable faith, nor perfect knowledge, nor some grand achievement. You need only have hope and love for the world, and the little wonders that sustain it.

Amen and namaste.

Sunday Message – July 30th, 2017

Led by Professor Alastair.

Good morning, and may we be well met this day in this Light. We give thanks today for the Light in our lives, for the small things that bring us joy, and the occasional word or song that echoes encouragement for us. Pursuing the Light can be a lonely task. Doing what is right may sometimes cost you dearly, but it’s no reason not to do it.
We were never told life would be easy, only that we could do it with the Light at our side. We weren’t promised a simple life, nor one of luxury. The Light can only give us courage enough, strength enough, and sense enough to survive. We must make peace with ourselves before can make peace with the world, for we are as we were made, and while we are each imperfect, we are each exactly who we need to be.
Sometimes you will lose. Sometimes you will fail. Sometimes people you thought you could count on will disappear when you need them. The Light is the only omnipresent force, and even the Light we cannot see all the time. To learn to be alone is essential. Learning to keep moving, to keep your momentum when there is no one else to encourage you, this is a skill of Light. The ability to be alone is crucial to the preservation of your Self. If you never give yourself time to hear your own thoughts, and the pull of the Light, you will find the thoughts and words of everyone else running through your head, and that’s often an unpleasant background noise for one’s day.
No one knows who you should be but you and the Light. If the pursuit of your Self renders you alone at some point, you’re probably doing it right. Take pride in yourself, in your journey, and do not be ashamed to share it, for even when you find yourself alone, you are here for a reason– we must only survive long enough for opportunity to present itself.
Amen and Namaste.

Sunday Message – July 2nd, 2017

Led by Professor Alastair.

Good morning and blessings this day in the Light. We give thanks today for the presence of the Light in our lives, the small things that make us smile, and the things that remind of what is Good.

The law of Light is above all Man’s. It is the law of Love. Where there is Love, no Darkness may triumph. Love is greater and brighter than anything, and it shines differently in each of our lives. May it never be for us to judge the manifestation or expression of love in another. For all that is done in the name of Love and Light, is done for Good.

Love is an organic thing. It lives, it breathes in the wind. It grows defiantly in concrete places, and flowers in the face of all adversity. It is the root, unkillable, undying, from which all our worlds and lives spread. From the root of Love sprang each of us, and in each heart lies the potential for Love to flower. The Tree of Life and Love is infinite– Love is not a finite resource. It is the heart which floweth over, able to give boundless love if we overcome our fears and choose to serve the purposes of Love and Light in our lives.

Time flows like river, each of us pulled along, passing one another in the currents of Life. Every day we have the choice to reach out to one another, to extend a hand in love, or to keep our fist to our hearts in guarded suspicion. To choose Love in this world is a dangerous business; it requires courage, sacrifice, and occasionally hurts like hell itself, but I assure you it is worth it. For the more you choose to Love, the more you will find you have to give.

Amen and Namaste.