Clergy Corner: The celebration of Advent prepares us for the birth of Jesus

Faith, peace, love, and joy are signposts to his arrival

Photos courtesy Bill Heller
Rev. Bill Heller and friends.

■ Bill Heller / Contributed

The holiday season is upon us. Within Unity, as with other traditions that follow the teachings of Jesus, we recognize this cause for celebration as a promise – the arrival of the awareness of the Christ that resides within us all. This celebration can be realized day by day, as this is our nature as God’s creation. St. Paul states “the Christ in you, your hope of glory.” His statement promises the teachings of the truth within us to be realized, thereby enabling us to experience the fullness of life as God’s creation.
The celebration of Advent prepares us for the birth of Jesus. Four states of mind are signposts to our welcoming such arrival: Faith, Peace, Love, and Joy. For these represent a state of mind where we can welcome and live in the awareness of our eternal connection to God.
For anyone, wouldn’t these be states implicit in a relationship with a loving God? If we knew, every moment of everyday, of our Oneness with God, wouldn’t these conditions be the norm, within reach at any moment?
Faith is “the awareness of all hoped for, the assurance of sights unseen (Hebrews 11:1). This brings the knowing that we will have all the answers that we need at the right time and in the right manner. In Luke 7:50 it says, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” To rely on our faith is to know at any moment we can ask for and receive the clarity and guidance that is rightfully ours.
Peace can become our means of living, as it is the nature of our creation. While not evident in the world as perceived today, is this not the dream of each mother and father, that their children have peace in their lives? The faith mentioned previously can be the underlying basis of peace. As Jesus our Way Shower stated, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.” (John 14:27) May our willingness to pursue the peace he offers be the starting point in our bringing peace to our lives and to our world.

Rev. Bill Heller.

Charles Fillmore, co-founder of Unity, recognized Love as “the harmonizing power” of all of creation. Since God is Love we are all included in this Oneness. As a divine creation of God, we can see Love as our role of uniting. The harmonizing power becomes our means of recognizing and expressing the Universal Oneness we share, contribute to, and receive from. When extending our Love to one another, it brings forward the expression of love to all. Christian traditions are firmly rooted in our extending love to all; to share what is ours to share, to give and receive in a manner that forwards our joy and our lives. “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.” (1 John 4:7)
Joy is the final state where the realization of the promise is fulfilled. “To you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.” (Luke 2:11) We have been rewarded for our faith, our peace and our love as our means of living, as our means of continuing to move forward in life. Let joy be the culmination of our knowing of the Love of God within us always and in all ways.
On behalf of Unity Chapel, we extend loving blessings to you at this time of the year. May this holiday season be a time of celebration for you. Whatever your tradition, may you experience the blessings of faith, peace, love, and joy in your life and in our world.

Rev. William Heller is pastor of Unity Valley Church

Editor’s Note: The season of Advent, which comes from the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming” or “visit,” begins four Sundays before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve.

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