The New Jerusalem
The New Jerusalem
By Gary Eby, MSW
Welcome to the party. Today we celebrate Palm Sunday. Yes, we appreciate and honor the life of Jesus, his inspiring words, his miraculous deeds, and his awesome demonstrations of the power of Spirit. We will also celebrate our own True Self, the Christ Self, the Higher Self, our God Self. In the words of the great New Thought leaders: “We are spiritual not just material!”
As Jesus our master teacher and way shower revealed: “Of myself I can do nothing; it’s the Father within that does the works.”
To begin this celebration let’s see what the Bible has to say about the significance of Palm Sunday. Then we can join in a celebration of who we really are: the magnificent, omnipotent, unconditional, all-loving, all-wise, the I AM that I AM. For this is the New Jerusalem.
I would like to share with you a very amazing book that my wife is reading in preparation for her ministerial credentials at the Emerson Theological Institute. The Title of the book is “The Hidden Mystery of the Bible” by Jack Ensign Addington. A sidenote about Mr. Addington is that he taught Bible Study at Unity Village for years.
Now, Mr. Addington points out there are basically three ways to interpret the Bible: the literal, the historical, and the metaphysical. I favor the metaphysical or spiritual interpretation, which helps us understand our own spiritual journey.
Along these lines Addington points out: “God in You is the principal character in every one of the Bible stories… Once we have found the secret, something happens. All of a sudden the Bible is not just a series of disjointed writings, but an integrated study of man’s spiritual journey from Paradise to Paradise. Man, created perfect in the beginning; seemingly dispossessed through his own ignorance; now, step by step, finding his own way back to his original perfection. At last he finds the New Jerusalem, the possession of Peace, or what we would call the awareness of Peace.”
Who We Are
Palm Sunday Story
So, let’s apply this metaphysical understanding to the Biblical account of Jesus entering Jerusalem on a donkey. All of us know that basic story, right? Jesus rode through the gates of Jerusalem accompanied by his disciples and followers on the Sunday prior to his Resurrection. He was greeted by multitudes of interested people shouting “Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the Highest” as they placed down palm branches and clothing for him to ride over. The term Hosanna was a form of strong praise back in those Bible times; it means essentially “Blessed is the one who follows the Lord.”
For me it is also interesting to note some other details about this jubilant and triumphant experience. According to the Gospel of Mathew and John, prior to Jesus entering Jerusalem he took his disciples aside and explained: “Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death. And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again.”
In addition, he had just, through the Father within, brought Lazarus back from the dead, and Lazarus was a member of his followers; this news spread like wildfire throughout the land. Also along the way Jesus heals two blind mind men who had cried out “Have mercy on us O Lord , thou son of David.” And last but not least, right after Jesus finished his grand entrance, he went to the temple to pray, where he “ cast out all of them that sold and bought in the temple and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves. “ He goes on to say, “It is written, my house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.” Then Jesus continues in the temple his ministry of healing the sick and the lame.
We are Light
What does all of this mean beyond the literal and historical significance? According to Charles Fillmore in his “Metaphysical Bible Dictionary, Jerusalem is a symbol or metaphor for The City of Peace or God-Consciousness. My hunch is that the whole Palm Sunday story is all about our time of preparation for a personal, spiritual transformation.
Whatever challenges we face today, tomorrow, or in the near future, we can draw upon the 12 powers of the Disciples, and overcome anything with our Christ-Self. This is our True Self, which is always connected to Spirit everywhere present. We might have to open our eyes and see our True Nature with our heart rather than with the cognitive mind and the sense consciousness of the moneychangers. We also have the power to throw out all that negative energy, and release those stressful emotions of fear, lack, resentments, and doubts.
This is the Truth that sets us free. This is the New Jerusalem; City of Peace and God Consciousness as John the great Apostle Mystic describes in “Revelations.” Charles Fillmore also gave us some interesting tips about the New Jerusalem. In an obscure work of his called “The Restoration of God’s Kingdom” Fillmore states: “We possess the keys that open the gates of the New Jerusalem.” He goes on to say “the keys are presented to those who come into a perception that all is mind, and all things and all conditions represent states of consciousness produced through the free action of the I AM in every man and woman.”
In Unity and in the New Thought Movement, we perceive these keys as prayer, meditation, speaking our Word, claiming our I AM, doing good for others, and listening to the Inner Voice. We can create a better life for ourselves and a healthier world for each other. The time for Heaven on Earth is now. The time to celebrate God Consciousness and the New Jerusalem is today.
We are Love
New Jerusalem Celebration
To paraphrase the loving words of Jesus the Christ : The Kingdom is within. The Christ-Self, our True Self always is the Way, the Truth, the Life. We are perfect even as our Father who is in Heavenly Consciousness is always perfect. Heaven is at hand. Whatever we ask and pray for, just believe, and we will have it. We are here in this physical world to enjoy life, to live abundantly, and to be ourselves fearlessly.
Welcome to the party. Are you ready to celebrate the New Jerusalem today? Then I call upon our Speaker Team to help us.
Rev. Marcia here is a palm branch. Waving the branch through the congregation she affirms: “Blessings to all who follow the Lord.”
Susan H. taking another palm also states: “I see the Christ in you.”
Susan E. following suit exclaims: “Blessings to you on this day of Joy!”
I pick up a palm branch, all of us waving them and saying together: “Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the Highest. We see the Christ in You!”
And now we pray (my version of the Lord’s Prayer):
Dear Father/Mother God; Holy is your Name.
Your Kingdom, the New Jerusalem is here today.
Your will is being done on Earth as it always is in Heavenly Consciousness.
You give us the power of Infinite Creative Energy… the Fire of Life.
And the presence of unconditional , Radiant Love…the Rhythm of Being.
We are blessed by these gifts and Your Grace forever and forever.
For we realize your Kingdom is inside of us, with all the power, glory, Life, and Love necessary for Eternity.
Your Kingdom of Light waits for us now with the promise of a new way of living.
All we must do is step inside; surrender our physical self to our Christ-Self; embrace Your sanctuary of Love, Peace, and Wisdom deep inside of us; and listen to Your Voice.
Amen and Amen.