Evening Sermon, September 13, 2001

The United States is a great social and political experiment. It is an experiment to determine whether the freedom, the self-determination which God has given to the individual, can be exercised on a broader social level. This experiment has gone relatively well during the two hundred years of its existence. But now we perhaps sense that here too there is more going on behind the externals. We sense that there is a spiritual battle taking place, between the spirit of freedom and spirits that would either shrink and paralyze us in fear or overheat us in retaliatory rage. We are being challenged not to let these events stimulate us to hatred, or prejudice. We are being challenged to realize that the whole world is our community, and that we are fighting, as Paul says,

“not against powers of flesh and blood,
but against evil spirits mighty in the stream of time,
against spirit beings powerful in the molding of earth substance;
against cosmic powers whose darkness rules the present time…” (Ephesians 6)

“Stand firm then,” Paul says, “girded with the truth. Connect yourself will everything in the world as is justified in the spiritual world, and this connection with the spirit will protect you like a strong breastplate.
And may Peace stream through you down to your feet, as the message that comes from the realm of the angels.”

The message from the world of the angels is always, first and foremost: Do not be afraid. Have no fear.

We may pray:

O Christ, you know
The souls and spirits
Whose deeds have woven
This country’s destiny.

May we who today
Are bearers of this destiny.
Find the strength and the light
Of your servant Michael.

And our hearts be warmed
By your blessing, O Christ,
That our deeds may serve
Your work of world healing.*

We are encouraged to consciously offer the best fruits of our souls, here and now, before the harvesting of our own life, whenever that may happen. We are encouraged to practice now giving back to God and his angels our best thoughts, our hearts’ love, our warmest devotion. We offer these fruits of the spirit so that they too can cross the threshold into Christ’s arms, so that he can gather them up and transform them into the nourishment for his angels. The angels, thus nourished, can in turn strengthen all of us human beings in the battles and trials of our times.

The message from Christ is:

I am with you all days.

Christ carries and orders our lives. He carries and orders the life of the world. Taking up the fruits we offer, He arranges how life on our earth evolves. And he embodies peace. Working out of the calm center of peace which he inhabits, which he freely shares, we need fear no evil. We can begin to notice that the shadow of death is illuminated from within, by him. We can begin to realize how much we can do. We begin to realize that he always walks with us. And that he embodies
and love,
and peace.

May we consciously align ourselves with him.

*Adam Bittleston, Meditative Prayers for Today, Floris Books

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