Isaiah 61:161:1 "The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners;"
Hello SANCTUARY NYC Friends,
The quote above, from the book of Isaiah , is part of the Revised Common Lectionary selection for this week. The lectionary is similar to the weekly Torah portion, but includes two passages weekly from New Testament writings as well. Ministers worldwide refer to the lectionary to become part of a stream of shared reflection upon a common set of wisdom reflections. Many use one or more of the texts as the foundational scripture for their sermons. Whether the text is preached or not, there is power in holding a wisdom teaching in collective awareness. Interpretations of the piece vary widely, but the act of focusing upon a common wisdom theme releases the deeper teaching and essential power behind the words into the world, and a vibratory healing and power is activated by that act.
Our words have power. Our thoughts do too. This month of December we are focusing upon the theme "Expectant Waiting", as we allow the age old practice of taking a deep mid winter journey inward to "prepare a place" for the birth of the wisdom child in us. The many traditions which coalesce around this time of year each celebrate the provision of amazing supply in moments of seeming lack. There is oil enough for the temple lights to burn for days, a promise of light during the shortest days of the year is affirmed by an evergreen brought inside, there is room in the inner inn.
In the above passage, Isaiah is essentially affirming, or re-affirming, his purpose, his true identity. He may have had a bad night the night before he declared this affirmative statement, but with the morning's light he remembered who he was, and declared it, and the words still empower us thousands of years later. The use of the spiritual principle of affirmatively speaking our good into being is a part of the prophetic tradition. In other words, it is as old as the hills! No matter how he was feeling- when this magnificent statement of purpose was declared- the prophet Isaiah re-set the barre by declaring "The spirit of GOD is upon me..."
What do YOU say about who you are? What is your deepest purpose and calling? There is a thread which runs deep in your essence which is not subject to circumstance. It is your eternal work, your deeper theme, it is who you are and what you are here to do.
In the month of January, I will begin a four week class, "Spiritual Growth Through Systematic Autobiography". This is a process created by Dr. William Clements from Claremont School of Theology. The experience of finding and remembering that inner essence of our path, in a shared setting of reflection, writing and possibly through collective reading or performance, is powerful and reminds us of who we are, why we are here, and why we come together in spiritual community. The class will begin on Thursday January 5, at 7 pm at our offices at The Center on 86th and Amsterdam. All are welcome.
This Sunday we have a great treat. Rev. Ingrid Scott, a member of the founding Ministry Team for SANCTUARY NYC, will be delivering the message in our 2 pm service, and the SANCTUARY NYC Music Department under the direction if Jeremy Mage is introducing a brand new song written just for us. I cannot wait to be encouraged and inspired by what Spirit is bringing us this week Remember, the questions were posed last Sunday- "Why do we gather in community?", and "Where is there?" I think you may hear some reflections upon that theme. But you will have to show up to find out for sure:) Please join us!
Thank you to all of you who participated in the very very successful launch of the Center at West Park this week. We had a HUGE turn out, and a whole new thing is happening on 86th and Amsterdam...You are part of making that happen. Thank you!!
You are the living expression of the spirit which Isaiah proclaims "is upon" him. YOU are the Light of the world. 'Loving the light you shine...
See you Sunday, Rev. Jane