In person gathering - Friends of the Light7th mo. 22, 2023 all day
Friends of the Light - Online worship6th mo. 4, 2023 from 7pm to 8pm
Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
I just got back home from a weekend meeting of Quakers. It was called a retreat but it was a meeting. It had a leader not a clerk. The Leader had expectations and a plan for the weekend. At the end of the meeting it became apparent to me that what we had slipped into was using worship not to determine the will of the source of the light for us but, at best, how to get that source to serve as a means to accomplish what we want to accomplish. We have slipped into a situation where we don't seem to be open to saying "but not my will but thine". We all have ideas and expectations and goals which often flow from a vision from that source of light we all say we want to walk in, but even then we fail to put those ideas, expectations and goals on the shelf when we seek to enter the Light, we fail to wait expectantly for the Light to show us the next step involved with the Light's Vision entrusted to us and in doing so we co-opt that vision into our own vision. Of course in too many cases it was always our vision and we only use Worship as a cover to do our thing.
Maybe we need to look around us and stop blaming God for the ills of society and ask how much, if any, of our existing Nationalism, Drug laws, international conglomerates and global policing are God's will and how much is ours? Maybe it's time to focus our attention on one thing that the time is ripe for change and seek God's vision, ideas, expectations and goal for that one area and seek the Light fervently in that endeavor without splintering our power like a shot gun in a scattergun fashion. Maybe it's time for us to be lasers of the Light? What do you sense when you are in the light? Don't get trapped with just responding from your experience with your thoughts, seek the light and then respond. Let's see what flows. Give the Light a chance to be real in and to this world we live in. Pass on the need to respond to each other just as if you were in a meeting for worship and lets see where we are a week from now.
So what has come to me out of the silence this week on this topic is that God doesn't have a will for Quakers. He just has a will. Like Keith says in his reply God just is. He doesn't have a will for Quakers and a separate will for Catholics and a separate will for Muslims. He just has a will. What has also come to me is the scripture that says "God changeth not" which I take to mean His will doesn't change from day to day or year to year. Which means His will is still to just Love our neighbor as ourself. So if any group, Quakers or Baptists, etc, wants to do God's will they just have to love their neighbor and since Jesus already explained who our neighbor is that should be easy, except my mugged neighbor is not necessarily your mugged neighbor. Anyone else care to share?
My personal experience is: to cling to the darkness. Darkness is real, it is always there for us. Light is, at first, a mere vague promise. If we patiently wander through our personal darkness, there will be some light at the end, and we will recognize it because it is different from what we know.
Then we may act according to our lights: if we feel friendly, we will act friendly; if we feel hopeful, we will act hopeful. "God" and "will" are secondary notions - perhaps helpful for to understand what happens, but not necessary.
That is how I get my most life changing revelations but fortunately or unfortunately these life changing revelations result in more time spent in the light and less in darkness to the point that it's easier to just avoid the dark areas of my soul and stay in the light. It generally takes physical or mental discomfort to force me to enter those dark areas.