Ephesians 1: 15-23 / Matthew 25:15-23

Today is New Year's Eve as next Sunday the First Sunday of Advent is New Year for us. This Sunday is traditionally known as Christ the King Sunday-the last Sunday of the Christian year. The image of King is remote and doesn't convey the truth that Jesus is the "Word of God" and Jesus' word is that God is love.

Often, we confuse religion with Spirituality.In Jesus' time the idea of the round Earth in the space of the Universe was a foreign idea. The religious constructed their ideas based on available observation and myth including a flat Earth. Today, we see things differently. we are not the centre of things but a blue speck in space.

We need to rephrase our Spiritual vision away from old religious dogmas and towards demonstrable Spiritual truths. If we don't, the trend that is happening among religious circles will only increase-the trend is loss of faith and membership.

I believe in God, who I prefer to call "Gus"-Great Universal Spirit! God is God for all, not just a few who follow a man-made dogma, there God for me is "Gus". A lot of ideas and dogmas that have been man-made constructs, take us away from God and are easily dismissed as unreliable due to scientific knowledge growth. Many dogmas are crazy and have been destructive to real people leading real lives!

We know from brain science that humans are essentially spiritual people. We know that we seek and express meaning and purpose in life-this brings happiness. We also experience being connected to the moment, to self, to others, to nature, and to the sacred. All of this together forms the core of Spirituality and its expression including a connection to "Gus".

Scientific research has shown that we as humans have basic Spiritual needs and expressions both as individuals and as a community around the world. These include finding: meaning & purpose; love; harmonious relationships; forgiveness; hope & strength; trust; beliefs & values; and spiritual practice & creativity. These can be accomplished in family, small groups, nature, artistic events and meditation. Healthy open religious experience can provide some of these needs but not all.

The ancients understood that we form the body of Jesus and that divinity lives within us all as together we are the body of Jesus alive today. This spark of Divinity is within all people and things. It is up to us to live this presence in the days ahead as we enter the Christian New Year, always aware that Jesus' Light of the World & the Universe shines through us. Together we work to assist in the fulfilling of human need. We proclaim Jesus as Light of the World and the Universe.