Fulfilling Our Hope by Rev. Christine Emmerling 11/27/22 (text)
“Fulfilling Our Hope”
by Rev. Christine Emmerling 11/27/2022
Today my talk is on Fulfilling Our Hopes. This Sunday is also the first Sunday of Advent which is represented by the attribute of Hope. Advent means adventure and coming arrival. This is a spiritual adventure that we take each year. The practice of Advent is dated back to Spain in 380AD. It begins on the 4th Sunday before Christmas and ends on Dec. 24th.
Advent is the remembering the birth of Christ Jesus, and the period of preparation for the 2nd coming of the Christ. In Divine Science and New Thought teachings this 2nd coming is when the Christ Consciousness is realized within each person and being expressed in their lives.
A popular tradition for the Advent season is the lighting of four candles in a wreath. The wreath is a circle made of an evergreen branch to represent eternal life. Three candles are purple with one being rose or pink and may have a center candle that is white. These four candles are lit one each Sunday four weeks prior to Christmas.
The first candle is purple and represents hope, the 2nd is purple and represents faith, the 3rd candle is rose or pink and represents joy, the 4th candle is purple and represents peace. The final center candle is white and represents the Christ’s birth and is lit on Christmas Day. With each candle lit Bible scripture is read. Throughout each week there is a focus on prayer and spiritual practices.
Hope is the first spiritual attribute to unfold as we take this journey. The hope of the Hebrew people some 2700 years ago foretold in Isaiah 9:2 & 6, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them has the light shined... For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder: and his name is called Wonderful Counselor, The Mighty One, The Everlasting god, The Prince of Peace.”
We shall now use our imagination to light our first candle representing hope. We see this light lit within our heart, and we affirm Col. 1:27, “Christ in you the hope and glory.”
The word hope in the last several decades has been made to mean that we just keep wanting endlessly without ever having fulfillment. According to the Webster dictionary hope means something quite different. Rather hope is “A feeling that what is wanted will happen; desire accompanied by expectation.”
Malinda Cramer, founder of Divine Science, wrote the following on hope in her book The Science of Infinite Spirit and the Christ Method of Healing: “Hope is where the affections are. That which we are attracted to we hope to attain, and hope causes the necessary effort for its attainment: in other words, if we have a desire or aspiration and make an effort to attain it, it is hope that prompts us to make that effort. If it were not for hope, effort or seeking would cease.”
In Proverbs 13:12, it says “Hope deferred makes the heart sick; but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.” Then in Proverbs 29:18 there is the saying “Where there is no vision the people perish.” Hope is therefore a great power to bring forth our vision of our heart’s desire.
When there is no vision there is only bondage to the past, and hopelessness; a deep sadness like a dark veil covering our eyes to the light that is still there deep within us waiting to be sparked with a new vision, a new desire. Once again, a spark of truth ignites our hope being empowered with a new expectation.
Hope then is not passive but is a strong power to bring things forth in our life. True hope is fueled with expectation of having. This inner urge of expectation drives us to take action. When we have an idea that isn’t ignited with feeling it is just as a daydream that has no motivation, the fuel, to carry it forth into being. If a person wants to do better or be the best in a specific endeavor there first is the knowing it can be done; having the expectation, and then follow with the preparation.
Years ago there was research done on athletes that had excelled. One thing they did as part of their training was to use their imagination to see and feel themselves taking the appropriate actions to excel. They prepared their minds, and then the body followed. They had an inner hope, a vision that it was possible to be the best, and with their imagination could feel their body accomplishing their goal.
A runner could feel their legs stretching out even further as they ran. A golfer would imagine that perfect swinging motion and feel the club as it hits the ball right into the hole. A swimmer would feel their breath, arms and legs in perfect sync and rhythm excelling their prior record. Research proved that what they could imagine the body took it as the really doing it. Once in memory, it was now physically reproducible. These athletes that had a hope to be better was in fact made manifest with great results.
It all starts with an idea, an inner urge that something is possible. When our mind is quiet, we could be doing anything that doesn’t require us to think like bathing, stargazing, or walking. We’re just being present. This is a receptive state of mind to receive ideas, visions and answers. Many scientists have practiced a form of silence to receive fresh ideas to their research.
Mentally struggling to get a new answer doesn’t work, as the conscious thinking mind depends upon the subconscious mind to reveal its stored knowledge. The problem is the subconscious mind is filled with prior experiences and doesn’t really have a fresh new idea. That’s dipping into the wrong source for our answers to what is unknown to us. But there is a source that has all the answers, and that is what we call our Christ Mind or Super Consciousness or Universal Mind. It’s our direct link to all the knowledge of the universe and is accessible when our thoughts are quiet.
Back in a prior career when I designed computer programs, sometimes I would get what is called a programmer’s block that would lead to a programmer’s nightmare. This nightmare would be when the program goes into an endless loop. My mind would be going in circles looking for the answer until I woke up.
I learned to trick myself before leaving work by coming up with one more idea and leave with the hope it would work. This releasing allowed for my mind to peacefully drift to sleep. Many times, the next morning new ideas would reveal themself that would fix the program. Fulfilling our hopes isn’t then a passive thing, although it may appear that way by observers. Inwardly there is much going on to keep this vision alive and fueled with desire and expectation in receiving.
I’ve been surprised by something years prior I had thought about but had since given it little thought. Then it suddenly comes back with a whole new enthusiasm. Everything has its right timing. If it's truly a good idea, it will keep on coming back, and if not, you are taking it on, then it will find an open and receptive mind and heart somewhere to nurture it to fruition.
Sometimes these ideas of the spirit will come through many people at the same time. Some take action while others reject or just daydream about it. Now these ideas are pure divine ideas but may be distorted as it passes through a person’s knowledge and beliefs. That is how a similar idea may take many forms.
Remember the automobile, some early models used steam to fuel. We’re still seeking for the perfect fuel or energy to transport us about. Before the airplane was the flying balloon and blimp. All of these ideas were based on a quicker way to be transported from point A to point B but were developed out differently.
An image that many people saw on the Star Trek TV show of the 1960s were people talking on wireless handheld devices which first led to the cordless phone, and then the cell phone which got smaller and smaller and is now the most common phone used today. We also saw people being beamed from one place to another. Scientists are still working on this one. Although, I’ve read there has been some progress with very small items. If we can imagine it, then it is possible. I say, “Where there is a will, there is a way.”
The Jewish leaders at the time of Jesus’ life had been taken over by the Roman empire. They were hoping for a savior much like Moses had been to free them from the Egyptians to restore their national kingdom. Now the God idea of a spiritual Kingdom of God, all ideas come from Divine Intelligence, was pure. But then got interpreted according to their understanding and carried down through the generations.
We understand this original idea as a spiritual Kingdom that is a state of consciousness within every person. This idea became interpreted as an earthly kingdom to meet their current needs. So, when Jesus the Christ came, they didn’t recognize him, nor understood him when he said in Luke 17:21:“And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”
Where do your hopes lie? Jesus the Christ had a vision when he said in John 14:12, “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”
Christ Jesus had a vision of the full potential of humankind. He knew the possibility because of what he could do, meaning its attainable if we truly put our mind and heart into it, and give up our old ways and beliefs. He gave hope to his disciples, students, and future generations of a new way of living and being.
Then we find mankind putting Jesus Christ up on a pedestal as the one and only for all to worship. Thus, the idea of our individual Christhood or godhood becomes an unattainable idea. This is leaving us in a state of status quo or without the hope of there being more to us. Yet Jesus repeated to the Jews of his day, in John 10:34 “Isn't it written in your scripture, I said, you are gods?” He was quoting from Psalms 82:6.
Meaning we are so much more than a physical body, we are spiritual beings with the full potential to be unconditional compassionate love, all forgiving, to heal and feed the multitudes, to live a direct connection of the Divine within us and to teach this wisdom while in this world.
In today’s world there are many visions for the future of our planet, some hopeful while others are dismal. It is our choice in how we want to view our future. I choose hopeful, I choose that there is a solution to every seeming problem, and our planet will be a better place to live. I have a vision of a global society that is enlightened.
In closing, give thought to whatever you may have hoped of becoming or doing in this lifetime in stoking the fire to give it life, and to remember “The Christ in you, the hope and glory.”