Easter Service - Feed My Sheep
“Easter Service - Feed My Sheep” by Rev. Christine 4/8/12 This Easter my talk is focused on the disciple Peter, and how he denied Jesus the Christ, and later was redeemed. The story begins in John 13:36-38, versions of it are also in Matthew and Mark. Jesus and his disciples are at the last supper. “Simon Peter said to him Our Lord, where are you going? Jesus answered, saying to him, Where I go you cannot follow me now, but you will follow later. Simon Peter said to him, My Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will even lay down my life for you. Jesus said to him, Will you lay down your life for me? Truly, Truly, I say to you, The cock shall not crow, until you have denied me three times.” In Matt 26:33, it reads as “Even if every man should deny you, I will never. And, “Even if I must die with you, I will never deny you. All the disciples said likewise.” And in Mark, 14:29, “Even if all of them should desert you, I would not.” Simon Peter represents hearing, the listening and obeying to Spirit, and understanding and the substance of Faith. “Faith is the giving substance to things hoped for.” Heb. 11:1. Peter is also called the rock, and Jesus later said that the church, which is a congregation of spiritual thought, shall be built upon this rock. A rock represent spiritual understanding of truth. Peter’s faith appears strong, or should we say he believes that he would not deny and be willing to die for the Christ. He seems a bit over assured, a lacking of humility. The idea sounds good at the time, but when actually called upon the answer becomes “who me?”, “I don’t know?” or “Not now!” We have changed our mind. As a faculty or power within us, Simon Peter is the regulator of thoughts being received. Jesus the Christ recognizes that Simon Peter sounds a bit over assured in this statement without ever being challenged to such a degree. Peter is coming from the mental or intellect rather than from love. Faith builds upon taking action, even when there is no visible facts to support. And, when Truth Principle is applied, then the results prove themselves. It reminds me of people new to this way of thinking, believe if I just say it, then it is. But, until our consciousness is aligned with the Christ, the real faith isn’t there yet, and the desired results appear lacking. Although you get when you have focused upon and truly believe in. Follow supper they go to a garden, where Judas brings the priests and Pharisees, guards and soldiers. Peter attacks and cuts the right ear of one of the high priest’s servants, whose name is Maleck. Jesus then tells Peter to put away his sword, and that this capture is necessary for the prophecy to be fulfilled. A garden represents our thoughts which can contain flowers and weeds. The name Maleck means counselor. In cutting off the right ear, we are no longer listening to spiritual guidance, instead our intellect is battling with the facts of appearances and in conflict of religious ideas. In the overwhelm of circumstance, the intellect finally submits to the inner voice of the Christ and obeys for the greater good to unfold. In the first sign of trouble, dealing with problems, or in crisis, how easy it is to turn away from spiritual principle, and stop listening to our inner guidance, and allow fear and doubt to take over. Love is abandoned and our actions become harmful to others and our self. When all else fails, then we begin to hear the whispers of guidance from the Christ within assuring us that there is nothing to fear, and to obey principle regardless of the appearances, for the good to be revealed. Jesus is captured and taken to the high priest, to be tried. The high priest was the one that had counseled the Jews saying it was better for one man to die instead of the people. In those days the Romans would wipe out entire villages to keep the peace. So if one person was rocking the boat to so speak, the Priests would sacrifice that one person. What are we willing to sacrifice to keep our world intact? Peter waits outside by the fire to warm himself, when a maidservant asks if he was with Jesus. He denies his connection to Jesus. Peter is again asked and even a third time denying his being a disciple. Then the rooster crows which reminded Peter of his promise to Jesus just a few hours earlier, and he cries feeling so bad that he failed to stand by Jesus. Peter, our faith is in a wait and see mode of thinking. Basing our judgment by the results of outer circumstances. How many times have we just reacted, putting aside, denying all the truth that we know when facing conflict or a problem. Its so easy to get caught up in the worldly scene, that we forget to first stop and pray. To acknowledge the Christ within, and allow Spirit to move through our thoughts and actions. After the immediate threat, then we remember our promises to our self, and then regret our mistakes; our failure to trust and practice the truth we know. The good news is that we will get another opportunity to turn our faith to the Christ consciousness. To practice what we know, and strengthen our faith with love. A week following the resurrection, Peter decides to go fishing, and other disciples join him. That night they had caught nothing. Then Jesus appeared and told them to throw their nets on the right side of the boat to find fish. They did so, and caught so many they were unable to draw the net, and had to drag it in. Then Peter drew his net to land, full of large fishes, one hundred and fifty-three; and the net did not break. Jesus invited the disciples to join him. He had a fire burning with a fish and bread. The space is set for teaching of spiritual principle in the law of multiplication. Casting the net on the right side, represents turning our thoughts away from appearances to the Christ idea. Fish represent spiritual ides in the law of multiplication, and are the deep, or hidden mysteries. The disciples had received so many spiritual ideas that they could barely contain them in consciousness, and had to drag these ideas; meaning not really understood. Peter, on the other hand, has captured these large spiritual truths of the 10, 5, and 3 multiplied by 10 in consciousness. The 10 is the Tree of Life, representing complete spiritual manifestation. The 50 is transformation in the law of multiplication, and the 3 is the law of creation in the Trinity. Jesus even pulls the coin out of the fishes mouth in teaching this principle. We must turn away from our mental thoughts, to the Divine within for answers, for guidance, and then to bring this new awareness to our daily living. Jesus approaches Peter in 21:15- 17, it reads “So when they had dined, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these?” He said to him, yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He said to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He said to him, yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He said to him, “Feed my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonas, Lovest thou me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus said to him, “Feed my Ewes.” This was the scripture that got me going for this talk today. A year or so ago while contemplating on why Jesus would repeat himself three times. There had to be a deeper meaning. Then as in a flash it was revealed to me, and just as quickly it was gone. But, it always remained with me to want to explore it more again. During my exploration in preparing today’s talk, I read different translations, and to my liking, the Lamas version, a translation from the Aramaic, gave greater clues to the meaning. It wasn’t feeding my sheep three times over, but different types of sheep. Which I will go into more. Up to now, we find that Peter’s love for the Christ had not been fully developed. His faith had wavered during crisis. Love is the most important ingredient, or principle in anyone’s spiritual work. Without love we make bad decisions for ourselves and others. Love is the true strength behind faith. Metaphysically animals represent our thoughts. Sheep are gentle, harmless animals; they represent the natural life that flows into man’s consciousness from Spirit. While lambs are innocent, pure thoughts - we are reminded of Jesus being referred to as a lamb. The ewe is a female sheep which would be also loving nurturing thoughts. Jesus the Christ, is asking Peter, “do you love me more than these” being the meal of fish and bread they just ate. Interpreted meaning, if he loves the Christ consciousness more than the teachings he had just received. Our ideas about the teachings, and performing miracles. Are we willing to give these up, for something even greater, the real thing itself. Knowledge is great, but at some point it is the experience that truly counts. The three times, is the Trinity or law of expression Creator, Creative action, Creation. Now Peter is being commissioned to go out and feed or to minister. I recall during my ordination speech, committing myself to teach, heal, and comfort. Feeding is at all levels; feed the spirit, the soul, and the body. Feed the spirit with deep mystical teachings that are experienced. Feed the soul with truth principle, moral laws and food for thought, and feed the body with love in nurturing by healing physically, mentally, and spiritually. Baptize in body, soul and spirit. Another way to see it; teach the innocent children, and both male and female. Back then women were excluded from spiritual teachings, and Jesus had included women in his inner circle. And, lastly, we can see these three as his inner circle of twelve, the larger circle of disciples, and then the masses. We all go through our trials, our difficult times in life. Yet as we learn more of Spirit, study and meditate, and put into practice what we have learned. We move through these challenges more quickly with grace and ease. The greatest gift I found in my spiritual journey, was that I never again felt alone. The Presence of God is always with us. We will now activate our power center or faculty of Faith. “The Christ in me calls forth Peter my disciple-faculty of faith. We now bring our attention to the center of the head, to our power of faith and declare: “The Christ of God through faith is awakening within me... The Christ of God through faith is awakening within me. Now realize: “Through Christ the faith of almighty God is quickened within me... Through Christ the faith of almighty God is quickened within me.” Now allow the Presence to drop slowly down to the love center, and declare: Faith works through love... I am being lifted out of fear and doubt. I AM secure in the protective love and power of God! I AM grateful.” Now allow the Presence of Spirit to move to the feet and the into the palms of the hands, realizing that faith must always be accompanied with works, that nothing is yours unless you express it. Take a few moments in silence to contemplate how you will express faith in your new awakened life. Now seal or entrain your Faith center by toning the sound “AYE”.