Rev. Arlene’s Blog
Rev. Arlene Meyer, our Minister, posts mid-week messages on this blog. Come back often to read her inspiring and thought-provoking posts. Learn more about her.
How was your Easter or Passover holiday? I am sure no matter what you did it was probably a little different than in has been in the past.
The important thing to remember is that Easter (as well as Passover) is not about the rituals (as much as we may love them), it’s not about the meals (which we may love even more) or even family and friends – it is about the meaning of the holiday and how it relates to us today and how it is an important part of our spiritual growth.
Passover is about freedom from bondage – political, physical, and religious. That freedom did not come without a lot of pain and suffering.
Easter is also about freedom from bondage. In Jesus being crucified and resurrected, we see the ultimate freedom from bondage. It is freedom from the bondage of old thinking that limits our potential.
The Easter message about Jesus transforming into the Spiritual Christ is also about our own spiritual journey.
This time of transformation may mean an end to somethings that we have taken for granted, or for things whose time has come to an end, but it is Easter, Passover, spring – a time for rebirth.
This time of change is the story of the living Christ and for own transformation – a journey of rebirth out of slavery to earthbound things to a life of oneness with God.
Let us give thanks for that transformation and for a life of deeper relationship with the Divine presence of Spirit. It truly is a time of celebration!
Quote of the Week
“When we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self-preservation, we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness.” Joseph Campbell
There is a story of a Persian monarch who wanted something made for him that would always remind him of the nature of humankind. So, he summoned some wise men who conferred and presented the monarch with a simple ring with the words “This Too Shall Pass” inscribed on it.
Although this saying is ancient, we still hear it often. The idea is so fundamental to the nature of our lives, we often forget it and dismiss it because of the ambiguity of the statement.
I love using it during difficult times because it brings me comfort and hope in dark times. However, when things are going well in my life, the thought that they may end can bring me down until I realize that it does not mean good will be followed by not good, just that life is always changing and what is now will probably not be the same in the future.
It is not a scary thought when we can begin to see that whatever happens to us, whether we label it good, bad, or indifferent – it will change. The only thing guaranteed in life is that things do change. This is good news because if we are not constantly evolving, we are stagnating, and it is often through the challenges that we reap the greatest rewards. The choice is ours – what we do with what we have will determine what we will become.
So, know this – this too shall pass, the clouds will part, and we will one day see the sun shining in all its glory and wonder.
Quote of the Week
“Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.”
Thich Nhat Hanh
Historically today has been known as April Fools Day but because of the Coronavirus, many pranks and tricks reserved for this day have been suspended. I understand why but maybe what we need right now is more humor and less talk of doom and gloom.
Instead of planting ourselves in front of the TV 24 hours a day looking at the latest death count, spend time having a good laugh. Last night I watched a Jimmy Fallon interview with Taylor Swift. He had gotten a video taken by her mother when she was drugged from Lasik surgery and it was so funny I found myself laughing out loud so much, I piqued the interest of Christopher.
Laughter is not only good for the soul but like gratitude, it is also contagious and healing. While home, try watching things that are funny. Change the channel and change your life!
Quote of the Week
“Laughter is the best medicine in the world.”
These are unusual times, faced with new challenges, a new way of living, and a time when we realize that some of the mundane day to day things we took for granted are truly gifts – gifts like going to work, the movies, visiting with friends, going to church or even going to the mall. But it is also a time of new discoveries, new ways to connect with others, finding things at home to discover and do that previously we never had time for. As we settle in for this way of life for an unknown length of time, it is important to continue to look at our blessings and be grateful for all that we have rather than what we do not have.
So what are you grateful for? I am grateful that my surgery happened one day before they stopped elective surgeries, I am grateful that I found a wonderful place to heal in for the first week of my recovery. I am grateful that the surgery went well and any pain I am now experiencing are signs of healing. I am grateful for a loving husband, good friends, a dog that
has taken on the job of nursing me with love, and the fact that our church service can be seen by everyone and will, hopefully, bring a sense of peace and connection.
Most of all, I encourage everyone to hold in prayer anyone who unfortunately has gotten the virus and all those that are seeking ways to stop the spread and find a solution. I am confident that prayer does work and whether or not, the prayer brings about the results we seek, know this – prayer always uplifts the person praying – and reminds us that we are never alone.
Quote of the Week
“All of us might wish at times that we lived in a more tranquil world, but we don’t. And if our times are difficult and perplexing, so are they challenging and filled with opportunity.”
One Day at a Time –
This is the message I have heard over and over, but today it has taken on a new meaning for me. The pandemic that we are currently experiencing has forced many of us to live one day at a time, whether we want to or not.
As the world continues to shut down, it is hard to make any plans because at any moment they can disappear. We had tickets to see a show – cancelled. Tickets for a concert – cancelled. Work – cancelled. Church – cancelled. And for me – surgery!
I am scheduled for a hip replacement tomorrow and whether or not it happens can change at any moment. So, what do we do when our lives are put on hold?
One tool I have been using a great deal is the Serenity Prayer. If I remember to accept what I can’t change – the virus or make it go away and have the courage to change what I can – my attitude about what is going on– I not only show wisdom, but I can find peace in the midst of the storm.
Quote of the Week
“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” Lao Tzu