Thursday, April 18, 2013
I give them eternal life; they will never be lost and no one will ever steal them from my hand. The Father, for what he has given me, is greater than anyone, and no one can steal anything from the Father's hand. The Father and I are one.
Eternal life is not far away. It is always close, but you can never give it to yourself--or get it by yourself. It is always something given, something that happens to you.
Another way to describe it is “Christ consciousness,” the experience of unity with the One from whom we all come. This is the epitome of human experience, the fulfillment of all that is most human and holy in us.
Mystics describe it variously, but their descriptions are often not better or much different from how the most articulate among us might describe the experience.
Recently, a friend described an experience of being dissolved in love. This is Christ consciousness, what other great mystical writers call contemplation.
Think about it. To be aware of being dissolved in love means--on one hand--that I continue to have the experience of being me, a self.
On the other hand, I am dissolved in a love, in a great sea of love. To be dissolved means there are no boundaries, no barriers between me and this great sea of love. I am part of the sea, one with the sea, dwelling in unity with this great Love.
Jesus said, “The Father and I are one.” He knew this oneness. More, he lived this oneness, dwelling in boundary-less unity with the Infinite Sea of Love he called, “Father.”
Jesus words and actions were so expressive of this reality that they drew others into this awareness, into his consciousness, the awareness of oneness with the Loving Mystery who is greater than all.
Eternal life is to dwell in oneness with Christ in this Infinite Sea of Love, being one with Love Itself. The experience abolishes all fear and brings peace and assurance to the soul.
In this life, our experiences of Christ consciousness are fleeting. But in those moments we taste eternity, we experience reality, and we know all we are is encompassed--and will be dissolved--in Love.
Pr. David L. Miller
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me.
To hear the voice of Jesus is to share the consciousness that is in him. It is to allow his words and deeds to penetrate one’s mind and heart so that you begin to see as he sees and hear as he hears.
This is not faith in the conventional sense that people normally think of it. Those who questioned and resisted Jesus--in the first century and now--tend to look at him from the outside and say, “Prove it. Prove you are special. Prove that you are the Son of God. Do something; maybe then I will believe.”
But ‘proof’ is not found by standing outside and looking in. We know Jesus the same way we know anyone else: By living with him closely enough so that who he is--his voice--begins to penetrate our consciousness, and we notice: What is he like? What is it like to be with him? How does he see me? How does he see the world?
Only then can we begin to know him. Only then can we know if he mediates a new kind of life--eternal life--to our hearts and minds. Only then can we feel what he awakens within us.
Jesus speaks of human beings as sheep, which is true, of course. There is no denigration in this. Sheep follow … something, someone. The idea of a wholly autonomous life is a fiction the strong-minded moderns like to tell themselves.
But they, too, are followers of ideas and commitments they often do not understand or even know about. Everyone follows something or someone.
The question we might all ask: Does the voice I follow, the voice within, make me more alive, more free, more loved and loving?
Does that voice lift me above the clatter of daily life into awareness of the Love who loves me and all things--and invites me to follow?
If so, the voice of Jesus has found a home in you, and you have found the home you always needed.
Pr. David L. Miller