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UNDERSTANDING THE BIBLE

Over the years, I’ve had many discussions with various individuals who say they don’t read the Bible because it is hard to read, or they just don’t understand the scriptures. They are also curious as to if and how the Bible applies to their lives today. And, there is the age old saying that the Bible is written by man; followed by the questions as to whether the content is really true.

In Unity, we have come to understand that much of the Bible consists of stories, allegories, and/or parables, from which we are to gleam insight and wisdom for living a God-present life. From a metaphysical standpoint, Charles Fillmore, in The Revealing Word, defines the Bible as “the sacred and inspired Scriptures of the Christian religion."  It is a divine “book of life” rather than merely a history of people, and it bears “witness unto the word” of God (Acts 14:3).”

Personally, I believe with all my heart that the Bible was indeed written by various 'hu-mans' who were truly inspired by the God of our creation. In other words, ‘hu-mans’ that had somehow connected with the higher, or greater, presence within them---that which Unity calls, the Christ within. It is with this belief that I’ve presented myself open to the divine wisdom and guidance of Spirit, as I explored these questions in my quest for a greater understanding of Biblical scripture.

Through careful and enjoyable study of the Old Testament (OT), which consists of 39 books, I found characteristics and qualities of our human existence in all of the stories. It is for this reason I was lead to see and understand the OT to be the “blue print” of our very human existence. Throughout the OT, there is story after story of some human action that is not of the higher calling of God. For example, Jacob (named changed to Israel by God) loved his son Joseph more that all of his other 11 sons. Just think of the number of parents today who favor one child over another. Then we find that because of envy and jealousy, Joseph’s brothers sold him to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver; characteristics today we often refer to as “the green-eyed devil.”

And, let us not forget about David. Not only did David kill Goliath, when he became king of Israel, he sent one of his captains to the head of the army knowing that he would be killed in battle, all because he wanted the man’s wife. I believe this is called selfishness, covetousness, or a deep lack of concern for another person.

We also find in the OT, God presented Moses with laws to communicate to the children of Israel, as to the fair and just ways to handle any ill doing by man, intentional or unintentional doing. These laws were much like the laws we have today, holding one responsible for any human misgivings.

In reading the many stories of hurt, anger, deceit, greed, and overall human responses to life’s circumstances, it seems the OT is trying to make us aware of our human tendencies and warn us to be watchful of our thoughts and feelings in our interactions with ourselves and others. Again, it is a “blue print” to help us navigate the pitfalls of our human experience.

Then, in studying the New Testament (NT), consisting of 27 books, I’ve found through sharing parables, Jesus provided the answer to accessing our God-power to overcome our human characteristics. This answer provides the best possible way—the only way-- of overcoming the human tendencies that are not the beautiful way of God. Through the masterful teachings of Jesus, and others that followed him, the Truth of the powers within are unveiled to let us know we have dominion over any and all things that are not of God. In his teachings, Jesus demonstrated how the practice of prayer and meditation --with a conscious focus on the God of our being-- illumines our human image of mind to connect with the powerful presence of the Christ within.

Through prayer and meditation, we reach the shores of everlasting Truth where we find the treasure of a rewarding life of love, peace, joy, happiness, and overall prosperity. Considering Unity’s definition of prayer as “the most highly accelerated mind action known,” and meditation as “a steady effort of the mind to know God” (see The Revealing Word), we can better understand and adhere to Jesus telling us “The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light” (Matthew 6:22). In other words, when we center our attention on the Word of God, with a conscious intent to express ourselves through righteous living, we reap the rewards of harmonious and righteous living.

Therefore, we need only to understand that the Bible is a book that helps us learn more about ourselves, and provides the necessary instructions to help us become the best we can be—or rather, the best we are. Pray, meditate, then enjoy reading this fascinating “Book of Life.”

 

Christine Randle, LUT

 

 

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UNITY OF OAK PARK
405 N Euclid Ave
Oak Park, IL 60302

Phone: 708-848-0960
Fax: 708-848-0158
E-Mail: unity@unityoakpark.org

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY

To all moms, be you female or male, HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!  May the love of God continue to bless you wish peace, joy, and happiness.  Please enjoy Ms. Rice's poem below.

 

A Mother's Love

 

A Mother's love is something

that no one can explain.

It is made of deep devotion

and of sacrifice and pain.

It is endless and unselfish

and enduring come what may

For nothing can destroy it

or take that love away.

It is patient and forgiving

when all others are forsaking.

And it never fails or falters

even though the heart is breaking.

it believes beyond believing

when the world around condemns.

And it glows with all the beauty

of the rarest, brightest gems.

It is far beyond defining,

it defies all explanation.

And it still remains a secret

like the mysteries of creation.

A many splendored miracle

man cannot understand.

And another wondrous evidence

of God's tender guiding hand.

 

Helen Steiner Rice

 

MISSION STATEMENT

Unity of Oak Park is dedicated to teaching Spiritual Truth; awakening individuals to the indwelling Christ -  I AM; and putting into practice Universal Laws of Love, Peace, Prosperity, and Healing.


Affiliated with Unity Institute and Seminary,   Unity Village, MO

Member of The Association of Unity Churches

UPCOMING SUNDAY SERVICES

9:00 AM & 11:00 AM SERVICES


APRIL

1

Awakened - Risen from the Tomb
Chaplains

8

Balancing the Human and the Divine
Rev. Elizabeth Mora, Ministerial Candidate

15

Renewed Unto Repentance
Christine Garza, LUT-C

22

The Story of Light

Rev. Patty Pipia, Guest Speaker

 

29

Living as the Light

Rev. Patty Pipia, Guest Speaker

 

 


MAY

6

Dreams Come True
Rev. Sandy Diamond, Guest Speaker

13

Resurrecting the Divine Mother
Christine Garza, Ministerial Candidate

20

Here I GROW Again
Stanley Griffin, Guest Speaker

27

The Season of NOW

Ryan Priester, LUT-C

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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