Whitsun is a very special day. It is the end of a process, that began with the birth of the innocent and vulnerable child, who was born in Bethlehem and who later offered Himself to receive the Spirit of the Sun, at the baptism in the Jordan. Then He chose, in free will, the path of suffering and death on the cross. Christ Jesus rose from the dead and began the process of expansion; the process of re-enlivening and shining through all the kingdoms of the earth, wind, water, plants and animals, even the starry heavens and even into the human being. At Easter time, then even more strongly through Ascension, He permeated the whole cosmos with seeds of new life. And at the center, in the middle point of this expanding new life, is the divine “I.” The Risen One spoke the Word of Truth to overcome death: “become!” The God of Truth rose from the dead and spoke a “become” into the cosmic memory of the earth. This was the dawning of a new age of development.
We can look through the birth in Bethlehem to the birth of the whole of Creation; to the innocence—and vulnerability—of the first human beings, which led to the sacrifice of innocence for the sake of experience. This has been called the Fall. Experience leads to consciousness, and consciousness leads to self-consciousness. The human being, becoming aware of the fall from innocence experiences not wisdom but shock—then turns around and blames God. The human “I” compares itself to the divine “I” and finds it is not divine, not even in the image of God. In this shock, the weaknesses, strayings, infirmities of mankind take over and lead to the denial of spirit, the denial of transformative power, the denial of morality…
This could have led to the end of the heavenly forces on earth; to a separation of heaven and earth but, the response of the God of Man came out of love, to die even into human denial. He created the way for the human being to overcome denial by means of thinking. Christ sends the Spirit of Truth to human beings, so that they can recognize and meet truth in thinking. Truth itself is weightless, and leads the human spirit and soul to unite with its’ Spirit, the Spirit of Truth.
Before the resurrection Christ created the foundation for human beings to experience the transforming power of his presence. It is woven into sacraments that were created not by human effort; they stem from Christ’s ordaining.
In the Act of Consecration, we can recognize the steps of Christ’s love for the human being in (1) the enlivened Word from realms of truth, (2) the moral impulse to offer, (3) transformation of matter in uniting with spirit, and (4) an intimation of Christ’s will to unite with human destiny. We can recognize in these, the structure of the Act of Consecration in the Gospel Reading, the Offertory, the Transubstantiation and Communion. The image of God in Man is created anew—not restored back to the original creation.
Whitsun is the end of the rainbow that began with Christmas, then Epiphany, Passion, Easter and Ascension. But it is also the beginning of the new bow of spiritual activity into the rest of the year, the rest of our life, and also the re-enlivening of the earth. Through the love of truth we find the love of Christ.
Contemplation by Rev. Susan Locey