The following guest sermon was submitted by ULC Minister Cheryl Salerno. All ULC Ministers are invited to contribute their own sermons for consideration/publication. To submit a sermon, please email it to email@example.com.
When a man called out from the crowd, “Lord, teach us to pray,” Jesus spoke the words of what we know today as The Lord’s Prayer or the Our Father. Almost 2,000 years later we were given an astounding insight into the hidden power of this prayer, found in the Edgar Cayce mystical readings:
Q-22. Does the … Lord’s Prayer … have any bearing on the opening of the centers?
A-22. Here is indicated … the purpose for which it was given ...an understanding of the relationships to the Creative Forces. (Edgar Cayce reading #281-29)
Let’s let that settle in for a moment. Saying the Lord’s Prayer opens the spiritual centers, the chakras, so that we might better understand our relationship to the Creative Forces!
How does this work? According to the readings, as we speak aloud each phrase, each spiritual center or chakra opens or comes alive more fully.
The chakras are one of our vital interfaces between body and soul. As they are awakened, enlivened, so are we made more radiant in our inner light, healthier in our bodies, clearer in our minds and purposes, and so may we experience an enhanced relationship with the Source of Life, a closer walk with God.
OUR FATHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN
Invoking the Creator in the heaven of our consciousness uplifts our minds to higher planes of awareness.
HALLOWED BE THY NAME
These first two phrases open or stimulate the crown chakra.
THY KINGDOM COME
The kingdom in God’s vision of creation was offered in the Garden. The third eye is aroused.
THY WILL BE DONE
Here we align our individual wills with the One Will in the throat chakra.
AS IN HEAVEN, SO ON EARTH
Now we will see how it all works ‘down here’ in materiality. The next center to open is the root or first chakra:
GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD
Here Jesus seems to be making reference to day-to-day sustenance. Beyond this, there is also another thought to consider in John 6:35 when Jesus says, “I am the bread of life.” Might we be awakening to the presence of the Christ in us? “Our daily bread... the bread of life.” Can we feel this blessing blossom to life within us?
With the Christ Light within us, could we have need of more? Yet the next statements seem to indicate that we may still need help here on Earth, as they directly address our human condition.
The next spiritual center to open is the third chakra, the solar plexus.
AND FORGIVE US OUR DEBTS AS WE FORGIVE OUR DEBTORS
The solar plexus is that element of earthly life known as fire. The Sun is known to “shine upon the just and the unjust alike.” This is the love of God - proof that life extends equally across the board.
Unless we ourselves have blocked it.
“Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.” (John 20:23) Holding onto offences – both real and imagined - locks them within us. By not forgiving, we negate the flow of life to us and through us.
Letting an offender off the hook is not the issue. Freeing ourselves from limiting the life force available to us is.
Our next stop according to the readings is the second center.
AND DO NOT LET US FALL INTO TEMPTATION
Even when I was younger, I could not for the life of me figure out why God would “Lead us not into temptation” and I’d changed it to “Leave us not in temptation” in my own praying.
Thankfully, this phrase was recently adjusted by the general assembly of the Episcopal Conference of Italy by request of Pope Francis.
We already have been given sustenance in the earth along with the presence of the Christ Spirit. And we’re given as much vital life force as we allow. So, what else could we need or desire?
That may be the issue right there – that we think we need or desire something else, something other than what the Creative Forces already are providing.
Asking for stronger guidance here strengthens us against the tidal force of group and mass consciousness that pulls and pushes us to think there is more to life than what we already possess, more than the individual fractal of God we already are.
Free will being what it is, our choices do not always flow in the best direction, so we call out into the fourth or heart center:
DELIVER US FROM EVIL
"Evil" is such a heavily loaded word, conjuring devils and demons and frightening possibilities. Of course, if we ever ended up in such a situation, we would pray to be delivered.
But when I found the Lamsa version of the Bible, a whole new meaning was revealed: "...deliver us from error." The footnote explains ‘error’ as, "Anything contrary to the truth." This command now applies to a much more day-to-day application -- deliver us from our every thought, word, and deed that misses the mark, God’s truth.
By this statement, the last of the seven chakras or centers open. They are all now stimulated.
"For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory for ever" returns us to the higher centers, in Matthew 6:13, if that is the version we have learned.
Saying this prayer – aloud and with joy – at the beginning of meditation, at the beginning of each new day, can deepen our relationship with the Creative Forces of the Universe, with God.