Entering the Spiritual Temple, part 2

I remember celebrating Passover with my mom’s family, and it was largely a celebration of remembrance and thanks. We remembered God’s activity in the release of our Jewish ancestors from Egyptian captivity. We remembered Moses and the founding of the first Jewish nations. We gave thanks to God for God’s continued blessings.

The Christian side of my family celebrated Palm Sunday, and even Good Friday and Easter, with the same sense of remembrance. Although I didn’t realize it at the time—nor do I think my grandparents realized it, this was also a celebration of thanks to God for freeing people from captivity to the sinful ways of the world. At Easter dinner, we remembered Jesus and his activity for the common human good. In these celebrations we also gave thanks to God for God’s goodness and mercy.

While both of these celebrations were beautiful in their own way, they were largely celebrations of the past, of traditions. Any Passover celebration or associated Christian celebration I’ve attended in recent years is also about remembering and honoring events from long ago. Remembering our past is important, but it seems to me all we’re really remembering is a series of events. We’re no longer actually thinking about why we remember these events.

What is the spiritual meaning of being released from captivity?

God’s activity through Moses in ancient Egypt, and God’s activity through Jesus the Christ in Roman occupied Judea, should remind us that God is alive within us. When we realize our Oneness with God—like Moses and Jesus, we are set free from whatever is enslaving us. The story of the exodus and the stories about Jesus from Good Friday through the resurrection on Easter are all metaphors about the freedom we find when we start to understand the mystery of God working within and through us. Passover and Easter are about “getting it”.

These stories are important to remember because today we are still enslaved, and if we speak out against our masters, we too will be crucified. We must open our hearts and minds to the force of God so we can experience an awakening that changes our being. We must become like Christ by experiencing and trusting the energy of God within. Once we experience God within, we can begin changing the world—like Moses and Jesus, without fear, even when the Empire conspires against us. We are with God, doing God’s work. We have become the spiritual temple. Our fate matters not, because the only thing that’s important is doing God’s work recalibrating our world toward justice, quality, love and compassion.

Today, we are enslaved to a global culture of consumerism. We are told to buy, and to buy often. We have become commodities in a commoditized world, slaves to a system that convinces us more is better and that buying things will satisfy our deepest longings. Our global culture has turned us into cogs in a giant, international corporate machine designed for one purpose: the creation of profit. We have lost our humanity—perhaps even freely given it, to a business entity that now has the rights of a person, and the power to remove the rights of every person.

If we are moved to speak out against the international machine, we are called names that we have been programmed to believe lessen our human worth: socialists, communists, non-Christians. We’re told we’re unpatriotic. We elect officials who destroy government programs that aid the poor, a class of people intentionally created by the international machine in order to make it impossible for us to rage against it.

Every one of us participating in the global machine is a Jewish slave in Egypt and Jesus on the cross. Like Moses and Jesus. It is our job to listen to the voice of God speaking to us—and God is speaking to all of us, all the time, and take action. God is trying to free us. God is still waking us up to the reality of systemic sin that enslaves every human on the planet. Perhaps at this year’s Passover and Easter celebrations, we can remember that. And be changed.

Meditation: I AM love and compassion. I am not a cog in a machine. I AM a child of God. I AM ready to be moved, and to move others, always to your loving embrace.

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