For the last two days the "Gateway to Silence" or my mantra for prayer has been this statement: My true self is LOVE.
And that takes me into places of awareness of how often I forget that. I am preaching tomorrow on the baptism of Jesus and pondering the mystery of that sacred act of going into the water. Like every holy symbol, there is always more to see, feel and understand in this sacrament. In our denomination we practice believer's baptism which means it is a decision. And although many times as young people we are just going along with what parents or community wants, ultimately it is a commitment to living the life of following Jesus.
I will talk a bit about Jesus himself being baptised and what that means for one who is sinless. For me., I see his beginning of his ministry which symbolized dying to self and rising again as he goes in and out of the water. And that is what we do when we follow him - whether we know it or not.
That is what this journey is - a dying to self - over and over again. And sometimes it helps to hear and speak and remember a mantra - "My true self is LOVE" in order to integrate or embody that spiritual truth. . Too often I live as if my true self is my accomplishments or my relationships. Or my true self is so wounded and so messed up that I am afraid to look at it. And so I numb myself or escape from reality.
"My true self is love" means that I can let go of my defenses, judgments and general commentary and just be - giving and receiving love. "My true self is love" is a beginning and an end to the seeking after more that is my life.
I want to believe this in every fiber of my being and I trust that as I sit and pray these words and allow them to come up in my throughout this day, maybe, maybe, maybe I will come to live into this sacred, holy peaceful life that God keeps offering me.
Dear God, may this be a day of giving and receiving love.
I pray today for cleansing
cleanse me from all those things that pollute my mind, my feelings, my soul
I pray today for protection
protect me from people, ideas and thoughts that diminish and confuse my sense that my true self is LOVE
I pray today for conversion
change me from being afraid, defended, judgmental to being vulnerable, open and empty,
May this be a day of giving and receiving love.