Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Pentecostal Prayer Day 15

We must not go backwards in seeking the truth of human faith. We have come too far in our understanding of full humanity to offer ourselves up again as sacrificial lambs being led to slaughter by those who promote fear as a substitute for faith. Awe-filled respect is not the same as fear. Fear is not the same as faith. We can only entertain fear for so long before we develop bravado and reject that which causes our terror. Either that, or we freeze in place, becoming useless, even to ourselves.

Our ancestors were a fear-filled people, attributing all pain to our own inability to please and appease angry gods. Discomfort is simply part of all change, both in growth and in death. We can choose to either ride the currents or take down our spiritual sails, so as to stay anchored to only that which is familiar.

My prayer for Pentecost is that we begin to understand that anchoring without the ability to move with the seas of The Sacred Spirit can kill our souls as certainly as can being adrift with no direction.

Pentecost Prayer Day 14

Openness to The Sacred Spirit can be a two-edged sword. The city where I live is seething with spirits, which all set souls on fire, but not all of them lead to responsible or compassionate actions. There are many debates about the nature of good and bad, the nature of heaven and hell, the process of repentance and redemption, and the nature of truth in religion. I propose that we attempt to find guidelines that we can all live with.

I propose:
Good is responsible compassion, something that harms neither oneself nor others.
Heaven and hell are both being personally adopted by each of us and shared with others, beginning with (and sometimes before) our first breaths.
Redemption comes from personal repentance.
Repentance comes from a commitment to make right what we can, and to offer restitution (or at least admittance of our wrongdoing) to those we have harmed.
Religions are rituals that help to bond individual communities. The Sacred Spirit is free for the asking.

The ten commandments and Jesus' life point to two rules: All humans are tasked with honoring The Sacred Spirit in themselves and in others. We humans were given The Sacred Spirit inside of ourselves. My prayer for Pentecost is that we see opportunities to honor and strengthen The Sacred Spirit in our every earthly encounter.