As the New Year turns, and we look back on 2022, many of us will remember times of pure joy as well as times of loss and sadness. This is part of the human experience. Yet, as we teach and live in Unity, we are also spiritual beings.
This eternal part of us knows deep within our being that throughout every experience, in every moment, the activity of God as love, life and wisdom is here to guide, comfort, uplift and support us.
When times are easy, we may not think about the activity of God in our lives. We simply get on and enjoy them. Often, it is when life becomes difficult that we suddenly think about God, even if only to wonder where God is.
We are here, in Silent Unity’s prayer ministry, and through Daily Word, our devotional bi-monthly magazine, to hold the high watch of knowing God as good is here in our midst. Always, unconditionally, keeping us close and revealing our good to us, individually and for all of us as a whole.
Whatever is happening in your life, we are here to support you and gently remind you of the constant, unchanging, pure expression of God, with us always.
We are also here to offer ideas and practices to grow our awareness of our spiritual self, so that we don’t just cope, but thrive, whatever is happening. This is a learning experience for all of us.
To help us do this, at the turn of the year we always offer the experience of letting go, to open, claim and give thanks for our good in the coming year.
This year we are delighted to offer this to you in two different formats:
Let us join together in Unity and welcome the deepening of our spiritual identities as we embrace our human experiences. It is truly our honour and privilege to connect with you as we do.
If you have been joining us in reading this year’s Unity Advent booklet, you will have noticed that many of the readings, particularly in the last week leading up to Christmas Day, have been inviting us to accept, claim and live as the light in the world.
For many, that has not been so easy this year. Yet, the Light is constant within us, here to express as us, to the extent that we can accept, claim and live.
There is no pressure ‘from on high’ here – no demand that we must do this. It is a simple invitation, one that our soul took up when we were born into this world, to know the Light and be the Light.
Jesus, as our Way-Shower and guide, knew this. Yet he also said, do not call me good, for only my Father in Heaven is good. Thus, claiming the light is not an ego trip. In truth, it is a surrender into Spirit, into God, into Pure Love and Wisdom. As we surrender our humanity, the stories of our lives, the human identity, the Light becomes us. Moreover, as we allow this transformation to occur, we become, as Jesus did, an example for others to follow, so that they, too, can know the Light within and as them.
Therefore, this Christmas, let us all with grace, accept, claim and live the Light, so that others in the potential darkness of human experience, can hear the call to awaken and rejoice in their divinity.
Take time each day to rest in the silence, making space within heart, body and mind to know the Light. What a perfect gift this is for ourselves and our world, this Christmas.
Rev Kimerie Mapletoft
Director of Daily Word and Silent Unity UK
As we near Christmas we recognise what we can give to others. When we look to the divine with all our heart, we connect with a divine essence. In the Christmas carol ‘ In the Bleak Midwinter, one verse describes being poor and having nothing to give the Christ child. Instead the writer gives the only thing she has, her heart. This is the last verse of the song and we are left with the image of the writer handing her whole life over to the divine. The power of this message is clear even in a few words.
Of course in truth we are never spiritually poor, through giving to God we are richly and abundantly blessed. We tap into our heart and there is the message, the message of God’s love for us, within us and as us. The abundant blessing bestowed on us and the truth that we can never out give God. In the story the writer gives the only thing she can and the most precious thing of all, her own heart. We can be certain that when we truly give our heart to God, dedicating ourselves to this love, we are transformed and receive every blessing. We are filled up, we have enough to give, our cup overflows, we let it flow and we let it bless others.
The story of the Christ child’s birth is a powerful one symbolically, and an image that always stood out for me even as a child was the giving of the gift . Every character in the nativity play has a gift to give; a cuddle toy lamb from the shepherds, a collection of sparkly boxes wrapped up to represent the treasure of the Wise Men.
As a child I often wished that there was a character that arrived without a physical gift. Indeed in some folk versions of the story there is an extra character. Sometimes a poor shepherd boy, other times a holy fool or a young entertainer who makes the child laugh. I learned recently that in parts of southern France they have a tradition of adding extra figures to the nativity set, ‘santons’ or little saints. These figures represent people in the community who they want to honour or thank.
I think this also serves as a reminder that we are part of this story too. We all have a gift to give, to give without expectation or reward, simply with love.
Take a moment to imagine that familiar stable, almost as if we have always known it. The smells of animals, the rough touch of the straw, the sound of hushed voices and angelic singing.
A woman and man stand watching over the manager in wonder. See the figures gathered round, travellers from around the world drawn in by love, a sense of a new hope in the darkness. Overhead we see a bright shining star making night seem like day. A sense of peace, love, and abundant joy. Stay with this image for as long as you wish.
Many blessings to you. Happy Christmas.
Daily Word UK Editor, and Storyteller
In his talk Rev. Ken Bradley explores letting go and awakening to wonder.
Discussing 'The Golden Key' by Emmet Fox and an affirmation to say if something appears lost:
In divine mind nothing is lost, stolen or mislaid. That which is missing is immediately made manifest, or replaced by something of equal value. The talk is followed by a reading of Daily Word from the archives.
In this podcast we share short talks and meditations from Unity teachers.These include regular 'musings' by Rev Ken Bradley, interfaith minister and Unity teacher, based on Daily Word readings and Unity concepts.
As I reflect more deeply, these lights, small as they are, when connected to each other, bring great joy, fun and enrichment to our lives. Metaphysically (in other words looking beyond the physical experience) these lights represent the true light in us. For, as we teach in Unity, every one of us has this divine light at our core – the Christ light within us, our true and beautiful Self, that shines brightly even in the darkest of times.
It is true that some lights are brighter than others are. Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa, Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed and so on, are examples of how great people live and share their inner light. Yet we all have this light within us, waiting to be ‘switched on’ as it were – by us. We simply need to know the light, claim the light (with humility and awe) and then live by our inner light.
Another important aspect is seeing how these strings of lights represent our connection to each other and indeed, that we only exist as we do through this good connection with each other. The stronger the connection, the brighter the light.
Not one of us is alone when we help each other. None of us feels alone when we give and share our light, love, wisdom and understanding with life around us.
As we enjoy the Christmas lights this season, let us also take time to recognise the light within us, and connect with each other to help call forth the light within us all.
Rev Kimerie Mapletoft
Director of Silent Unity Prayer Ministry and Daily Word, UK
Unity in the UK