« Last post by lastpost on April 16, 2014, 11:23:03 PM »
The festivals of Christendom...
I genuinely respect everybody's preferred method of gathering/spiritual ecclesia even if it is not mine. It is between them and God after all. Personally, I can worship with others in their own buildings but generally do not. I find Catholic services too dogmatic for me so I avoid them. Methodist type services are better, I generally feel out of place. Yesterday in the hospital chapel I sent my love to Christ with some hymn singing - that was very good - the hospital chaplains are of a generous nature.
My own understanding is that Christendom has been guided since the Master Jesus Christ, our Lord, lived on Earth in human form. This guidance has been by God, yes, and also by His angels filled with His Holy Spirit who attempt to influence man through his material outlook.
Certainly, the course taken by the "Church" has been hideous, especially during the Dark Ages when men preferred evil, but it would have been worse without the influence of the Holy Spirit. I believe that many of the celebrations of Christendom were prompted by the Divine Unseen.
I want to pass on, if I may, some thoughts that came my way, meaning I did not originate the underlying message.
The whole course of the life of Jesus Christ is as a Pattern and festivals appear appropriately. This Pattern signifies the progressive development of the life begun on Earth and completed in heaven (using the term as it is generally understood). The life is born of self-denial and culminates in spiritual ascension.
The Christ Life can be viewed as a narrative; humanity may read the story of the progress of His Spirit from His Incarnation as a human being (Spirit to stable) to the release of His Spirit (Resurrection, Pentecost, ascension). Thirty years and more of disciplined preparation readied the Christ for His Mission. Three years and more in all were needed to deliver as much of His Mission as man could bear.
According to my understanding, the development of a human is to progress through the way marked by the festivals of the Christendom, from being born as a human being of flesh which constitutes a festival of self-denial, to the festival of the completed life.
The man is born into self-denial; he progresses through self-sacrifice; he develops through recurring struggles with enemies found in the round of daily life, enemies found in himself, and external enemies - which must be conquered.
After this course the external dies, and the inner man, the spirit, rises from its sepulchre of stone on its Easter Morning. From here it is baptised by the outpouring of Spirit, even as of Pentecost; then the spirit ascends to the place Christ has prepared for it.
I believe that this is the progress of the spirit - it has been regenerated, as it were, after its own crucifixion and resurrection. The new man has risen from his grave because the old man has died. The old man along with his lustful nature is crucified while the new man arises to partake in a spiritual and holy life.
The spirit is born again, regenerated - and that is the crowning moment of bodily life for those who have followed the Master Christ -it is the operation of the crucifixion of self, a daily death indeed.
There can be neither stagnation nor staleness because this is the life of spiritual development based upon the Christ Pattern. The disciple is called out by the Master: a stemming of the sensual and base desires so that there is place for the spiritual and Divine, and a daily absorption of knowledge. It is a life of spiritual progress.
I understand that grace and knowledge are gifts from God yet coupled to this fact is that Christ presented to humanity the purest type of life for its imitation, and the Christ Pattern engenders the growth in knowledge and indeed growth in the grace of the Christ.
The material is brushed aside so that the spiritual can be developed; it is a purging as by fire and the fire is of a consuming endeavour and enthusiastic diligence; it is the enduring of the grappling with the lesser self and all that the lesser self includes; and the signposts along the way are of a perpetually increasing embrace of the Truth which is Divine. I am led to believe that those who can welcome fiery trials in His Name are infinitely blessed.
This is a condensed version of the spiritual overlay of festivals based around the Christ birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension. This could be presented in a much more detailed manner as far as festivals of Christendom is concerned but this is simply to make an offering to ponder if desired, which I believe is more than significant.
In His Love and Peace.