Weekly Reflection by Rev. Durrell Watkins
“Christ said, ‘The kingdom of God is within you.’ Truly I say to you: ‘within you’ means your true nature, the real [you]. Since your nature is [divine], the kingdom of God is only ‘within you.’ [The one] who seeks the kingdom of God without pursues a dream [and] will never find the kingdom of God…Only when you have awakened to the realm of eternal happiness within can the realm of eternal happiness be manifest without as a reflection.” – Nectarean Shower of Holy Doctrines, Holy Sutras (Seicho-No-Ie)
I’m very focused on the idea of “awakening” lately. It seems like waking up is exactly what so many of us need. Jesus reportedly said (though only the writer of the fourth gospel attributes these words to Jesus), “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Divine except by me.” The author of the Fourth Gospel wanted his audience to identify with his Jesus character. The “I” of Jesus was the example for the “I” of you and me to follow. Jesus was the example, not the exception; he demonstrated the Christ in him so that we could demonstrate the Christ in us.
What that late first century author was doing by putting those powerful words into the mouth of Jesus was saying that the way to awaken to our own Christ Nature, our own divine potential, the truth of our own sacred value is to follow Jesus’ example. Jesus communed with the divine presence without intermediaries. Jesus was iconoclastic, putting no image, tradition, symbol, or hierarchy above his own experience of Reality. Jesus trusted the spirit of Wisdom and Compassion more than he trusted inherited interpretations of ancient texts. Jesus trusted his own Christ Potential, the divine energy flowing through him, and that trust empowered him to live an awakened (or “anointed”) life.
To experience the Mystery of Life (“God”) as richly and as deeply as Jesus did, we must do what he did…trust our innate goodness and not transfer our own holiness onto things outside of ourselves. That’s what I believe “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Divine except by me” means.
As we face a troubled economy, justice issues, violence in the world, disease, global warming, and all the other disturbing circumstances in life, we may be tempted to put our trust in things, or people, or stories, or institutions. My guess is that such trust will leave us disappointed. The way to peace, the truth about peace, the life of peace comes from trusting the divine qualities within us, not from hoping something beyond us will swoop down and magically fix everything.
It’s time to wake up to our sacred value and to become less attached to the illusions “out there,” and learn to trust the goodness within us. Once we contact that Inward Light, that Christ Nature that is already our true Self, then we can share that divine Light with the world. Isn’t that exactly what our world needs right now?
Durrell Watkins, M.A., M.Div. – Senior Pastor