This last weekend a group of us came together for an exploration into what it is to be a minister. Through workshops, group processes, personal sharing, and reflection we each took a deeper look into what it means to serve the master, the world, and each other.
I personally went into this weekend with a bit of a heavy heart. This year has brought big changes into my life and I’ve been struggling to bring focus back into my work with the Urantia movement and the spiritual kingdom. Though I have continued to serve on the YaYA committee, do outreach booths, and share the gospel through media and evangelism I have felt a lack of centeredness in my commitment to growing the spiritual kingdom. This weekend helped me get back on course and re-committed to my mission.
Meanings and values were the centerpiece of our conversations but the goal seemed to be finding where ministry is taking place in our lives and where we are committed to having it grow. We looked at where we each stood in our own values and how they translated to, if any, ministry and social service. What I realized with renewed clarity is the link between true religion and increased social service.
When asked to pick from a selection of quotes related to social service I chose this one:
“Religious experience is the realization of the consciousness of having found God. And when a human being does find God, there is experienced within the soul of that being such an indescribable restlessness of triumph in discovery that he is impelled to seek loving service-contact with his less illuminated fellows, not to disclose that he has found God, but rather to allow the overflow of the welling-up of eternal goodness within his own soul to refresh and ennoble his fellows. Real religion leads to increased social service.” 102:3.4
On our second night this quote caused me to feel moved to confront an issue I feel is at the heart of what it means to be a “Urantia Book reader”. And this issue is just that. What does it mean to be a “Urantia Book reader”?? Does it mean anything or does it not? Is there any consensus on what it means? If so I don’t see it yet.
If we claim to be students of this revelation does that not imply we are followers of Christ? Does not being a follower of the master come with some commitments or even obligations? In our community it does not seem so. We study the book, we do some outreach, but we do not unite behind a unified commitment to bring all men to the gospel. At this time the only thing we all seem to agree upon is that we are reading a revelation. And the consensus stops there.
So what about Jesus’ instruction to his followers, “Bring all men to me”? If we are believers in this revelation, as I know we are, then does that not imply that we should be united in bringing all men to Jesus? And if we agree on this simple request from our brother/creator does that not call us to take actions that unite us in this simple and glorious task?!
When I brought up this idea in conversation, there were many strong opinions and ideas about what it could mean. At the end we all seemed to agree that it was coming to a time when we must unite behind more than just being “Urantia Book readers.” We must unite behind something that moves us forward as a growing spiritual family and supports and propels us as individuals in our own social service.
Though we did not come up with a slogan or symbolism I did get the feeling we are moving in that direction. I well understand the original resistance to putting all our eggs in the Jesus basket because of a fear that we would come across as “Christian” but that ship has sailed. IT IS TIME in my opinion to boldly proclaim the gospel as it was originally presented and start to get this world back on track.
If not us then who?