This week’s Agape Meditation Newsletter, in preparation for this Sunday’s Authentic Freedom Virtual Church, provides us with THE solution to the struggles of the human condition. If we want peace, love, joy, and harmony in the human experience, there is only one thing we need to do. It can’t get any easier than this! To find out what that is, read on….
Agape’ Meditation Practices Newsletter
Supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church Service for Sunday, October 26, 2014.
When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a scholar of the law tested him by asking, “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”
Mt 22: 34-40
Ex 22: 20-26
Ps 18: 2-4, 47, 51
1 Thes 1: 5c-10
It Doesn’t Get Any Easier!
If you ever only read one passage from scripture, this is the one to read. It doesn’t get any easier than this. LOVE. Period! Love God. Love your neighbor. Period! This is all we are asked to do. This is all that is expected of us. To love God and to love each other. Everything else in scripture, every other commandment boils down to this. When we successfully accomplish both of these tasks, we will experience – actually create – heaven on earth. What are we waiting for?
How are you giving time to loving God?
How are you being loving toward your neighbor?
How are you NOT being loving toward your neighbor (hint….EVERYONE is your neighbor)?
Spiritual Practices – Knowing God’s Love
There is a critical key to Jesus’ commandment to love your neighbor. This critical piece is as yourself. In order to love our neighbor, we have to first love ourselves. More specifically, we need to know the love that we already are in our intimate connection with God. The path to knowing this love is FIRST to know the love of God. Cultivating an intimate and personal relationship with God is where it all begins. The rest flows from there. The more we know God, the more we know ourselves and the more we are able to know and love another. This week’s simple spiritual practice will help facilitate knowledge of God’s love:
- Sit in silence.
- Bring your attention to your breath. Be conscious of each breath as you draw it in and release it.
- Recognize that the very breath you are breathing is GOD breathing love into you.
- Breathe in God’s breath and feel it filling you with love.
- As you breathe out, imagine the breath taking with it your fears, anxieties, any inner obstacles to knowing and believing in God’s love.
- Continue to breathe in God’s love and breathe out fears, old wounds, etc.
- Stay with this breathing practice, feeling it drawing you into a place of peacefulness, recognizing that this peacefulness is also God.
- When you find your mind wandering, return your attention to your breathing.
- Continue this practice for 15-30 minutes.
In Authentic Freedom, Compassion/mercy is the spiritual virtue that is attained when we allow ourselves to remember that God is love and we too are Love in our intimate connection with God. When we know God’s love and realize the love that we are, we have no choice but to be compassionate toward other human beings. When we remember this love, Jesus’ second commandment arises without effort, we are just generous, kind, loving, forgiving, tolerant, understanding and accepting of our neighbor and we soon discover that EVERYONE is our neighbor.
How are you growing in compassion as you grow in your love of God?