The DuPage Unitarian Universalist Church exists as a beacon of liberal religious thought and practice. Amid the challenges and changes of a chaotic world, we aspire to proclaim and embody the possibilities of meaning in human life, of freedom in human thought, and of peace and justice in human community.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Sunday Service: Christianity, A Different View - February 8, 2015

Christianity, A Different View
Reverend Tom Capo
Preached on 2/8/2015

Before the sermon, I offer this prayer or meditation.  It is selections from the The Thunder: Perfect Mind.  In December 1945, local farmers in Nag Hamadi, Egypt found a sealed earthenware jar containing thirteen leather-bound papyrus codices, together with pages torn from another book.  It is believed that the documents found at Nag Hamadi were texts used by various sects of early Christians, but the texts had been deemed heretical once the church began to formalize the books of the Christian New Testament.  The Thunder: Perfect Mind was contained in those thirteen leather-bound papyrus codices.

I invite you to open your mind, heart, and spirit to these words:

I was sent forth from the power,
and I have come to those who reflect upon me, 
and I have been found among those who seek after me. 
Look upon me, you who reflect upon me,
and you hearers, hear me. 
You who are waiting for me, take me to yourselves. 
And do not banish me from your sight.
And do not make your voice hate me, nor your hearing…
For I am the first and the last.
I am the honored one and the scorned one.
I am the whore and the holy one.
I am the wife and the virgin.
I am <the mother> and the daughter.
I am the members of my mother.
I am the barren one
and many are her sons. 
I am she whose wedding is great,
and I have not taken a husband. 
I am the midwife and she who does not bear.
I am the solace of my labor pains.
I am the bride and the bridegroom,
and it is my husband who begot me. 
I am the mother of my father
and the sister of my husband 
and he is my offspring… 
I am the silence that is incomprehensible
and the idea whose remembrance is frequent. 
I am the voice whose sound is manifold
and the word whose appearance is multiple. 
I am the utterance of my name…
For I am knowledge and ignorance.
I am shame and boldness.
I am shameless; I am ashamed.
I am strength and I am fear.
I am war and peace.
Give heed to me…
Hear me, you hearers
and learn of my words, you who know me. 
I am the hearing that is attainable to everything;
I am the speech that cannot be grasped. 
I am the name of the sound
and the sound of the name. 
I am the sign of the letter
and the designation of the division.

Blessed Be…Amen

One of the symbols of early Christianity was not a cross; it was an ankor.  This symbol was used to encourage hope in a time of persecution, and held its meaning from the Hebrew scripture: “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” 
As we begin our journey I thought I would start with this from the Gospel of Thomas, an early Christian text, “Jesus said: “Let the one who seeks continue seeking until he finds.  And when that one finds he will be disturbed, and once that one is disturbed he will become awed, and will rule as a king over the all.”  
We are all seekers here; that it the very essence of our faith, to seek truth and meaning individually and collectively, to share with one another and be enriched and disturbed by one another.  To look more closely at ourselves, each other, and the universe around us, and be awed by what we see.  We will find that life is not static, belief is not static, the universe is not static. If we believe in the divine, perhaps we will find even the divine is not static.  We are all co-creators, integral parts of the beauty and wonder that surrounds us.