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Looking at the detail - Sermon for April 3rd 
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Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2016 1:43 pm
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Location: Devon
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Post Looking at the detail - Sermon for April 3rd
Mahatma Gandhi once said ‘When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator’.

Beautiful words, and for me very true, for when I see a glorious sunset or the moon on a starlit night, it makes me feel we are truly blessed to be able to witness such beauty. Just as we are blessed to feel the warm rays of the sun upon our face or take in the sweet scent of a rose on a summers day, things we probably take for granted, but things which are priceless in such they make our days better.

When I was at school I will always remember the words of one of my teachers. She had lost her husband a few years before and you could see the emotion in her face and hear it in her voice as she spoke about him. Her words were those of her husband’s in the days after being told he was suffering from a terminal condition. She said he told her he wished everyone could see the world as he does. Not in single imagery but in real depth. The in depth beauty of each detail of a flower, and of each cloud in the sky and even of each individual brick in a wall. Each an object, yet each made up of minute little details which come together to give it beauty and interest.

I will always remember those words and try and look at things in the same detailed manner, so I say Amen to Mrs. Wendy Newton-Fenbow and her husband Peter for helping me to open my eyes.

But you do not have to be in awe of what some call the ‘Beauty of God’ to sample this sweet wine of life. Just as each petal on the flower, each cloud in the sky and each brick in the wall are different, so too are we. Where some of us will see the hand of the Creator at work in such beauty or giving us the skills to create beauty, others will appreciate the petal, the cloud or the craftsmanship in the wall for what it contributes to their lives. For as long as we all appreciate the delicacy of life in all its fine detail goodness is abound and we drink from the sweet wine of life.

Thomas Paine wrote, ‘My country is the world and my religion is to do good’. Some will say ‘To do good is God’s work’. If you are a man, woman or child of faith this is an example to follow. However, even as a believer I do not feel we have a copyright on goodness. The work of ‘goodness’ can as much be the work of our hearts as it can the work of God and its blessings can come as much from ones fellow man, woman or child as from the heavens. Just as we have spoken of beauty in this world, this choosing of where one’s blessing originates is the beauty of the Universal Life Church, a beauty each and every one of us can share.

In the Holy Bible, John Chapter 9, tells the story of when Jesus he healed the blind man.
'As Jesus walked along, he saw a man who had been born blind. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, why was this man born blind? Did he or his parents sin?”Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned. Instead, he was born blind so that God could show what he can do for him. We must do what the one who sent me wants us to do while it is day. The night when no one can do anything is coming. As long as I’m in the world, I’m light for the world.”
After Jesus said this, he spit on the ground and mixed the spit with dirt. Then he smeared it on the man’s eyes and told him, “Wash it off in the pool of Siloam.” The blind man washed it off and returned. He was able to see.

There are two ways we can look at this. Firstly, the Ascended Master Jesus restored the man's vision. But if we look beyond 'sight' in this sense and look upon it in a way that Jesus opened this mans eyes to appreciate all before him, just in the way Peter Newton-Fenbow learned to look at things, the message becomes clearer.

As we go through our lives we can all be guilty of looking at things in single imagery. Everything can appear to be one dimensional. It only takes a few seconds to look again and a whole new image appears, far more intricate and beautiful. But we should not simply reserve this for looking at flowers or clouds but at things that happen in the moving image of our lives. Taking the time to open our eyes allows us to see things differently.

Before joining the Universal Life Church, I must admit I did become frustrated quite easily. I was looking at things in a single image or dimensional manner. What I found when I joined the Universal Life Church was that I was looking at things a great deal more clearly and was more focussed on my surroundings. The other day however, I found myself slipping back into bad habits.

I was converting an old glasshouse into a type of potting shed, as I needed somewhere to concentrate on potting up plants and seedlings before transferring them into other glasshouses or into the ground where they could flourish. It had been an ongoing job, and a difficult one, beset by one problem after another. I was also on a bit of a time limit which added to the pressure. When things started going badly I began to get frustrated and let’s just say a few most un-holy words may have been uttered. Then I asked myself, were these un-holy words really releasing my frustration? Were these words of venom actually contributing to getting the job completed? No, the more I cursed the less I was looking at the problem. I stepped back, I made a cup of tea and as I sipped it I examined the glass panes, I examined the timber and looked at the whole thing in detail and not as a single image. My tension eased and I could see where I was going wrong and what I had to do to put it right. To cut a long story short, when I took the time to open my eyes I could see a solution to my frustration and problems and the potting shed was soon completed.

In our everyday lives we wander past things without noticing them. If we were told we had to wear a blindfold for the rest of our lives or walk around with one arm tied behind our back for evermore we would object. Yet many of us every single day are hampered by not taking in the detail. When we throw open the curtain in the mornings it might be the same old view but really everything is different. No two seconds are the same. If we take in the beauty which can exist even in what may initially appear the dullest of outlooks our day will improve. If we take a step back and look at a problem in more detail we can see a solution. If we can be an ear to someone in need we can be a helping hand to lead that person from the wilderness, in the way Thomas Paine said ‘My religion is to do good’.

If we can open our eyes, we will improve our lives and can help the lives of others.

We are blessed with judgment and of great mind,
We are blessed with great ability and inner strength,
We cast our minds into the silence so we may connect with the source of these blessings,
So we may feel touched and at ease with ourselves and others,
And as we go forth deeper into the silence and deeper into ourselves,
We lay on the tranquil sea of calmness,
And allow its gentle waters to clear our minds and our eyes,
Restoring our vision to appreciate what is before us,
To solve the tasks the are set us,
To love and to help those that come to us,
For we are upon this Earth to do good and reject what is evil,
For though we are many we are also one,
And connect with the light and blessings bestowed upon us.


Rev. Richard Heyse

Sun Apr 03, 2016 8:23 am
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