Lectionary Readings for Sunday, December 25th, 2022
Book of Discipline Chapter 7
GOD SHOWETH THE DIFFERENCE BETWIXT THE RELIGION OF THE OLDEN TIME AND THAT OF THE PRESENT
1. TO the All One, Jehovih, now as in the olden time, and for all time to come, all honor and glory, worlds beyond number.
2. The Highest Ideal, the Nearest Perfect the mind can conceive of–let such be thy Jehovih, even as in the olden time, which is the Ever Present thou shalt set thy heart and mind and soul upon to love and glorify above all things, forever and ever.
3. The All Highest in thy neighbor which he manifesteth–that perceive and discourse upon–all else in him, see not nor mention.
4. The All Highest subject–that discourse upon–all else pass by.
5. The first lowest thoughts pertain to eating and drinking; and on these the man of darkness delighteth to discourse.
6. The second lowest thoughts pertain to sexual matters; and on these the man of darkness delighteth to discourse.
7. The third lowest thoughts pertain to man’s selfishness, as bodily comforts and luxuries, as ease and riches, as to what he hopes and desires for himself; and on these the man of darkness delighteth to discourse.
8. The fourth lowest thoughts pertain to criticising others, as to doctrine, religion, philosophy, behavior, and so on, forever pulling all things to pieces; and the man of darkness delighteth in such discourse.
9. To abandon such discourse, and to discourse on the highest subjects, in preference, such as teaching, imparting knowledge, suggesting remedies for the unfortunate and unlearned, for improving in excellence the homes of others, the agriculture, mechanics and such like; the man of light delighteth to apply himself to these, both in word and practice, forever building up.
10. Consider then what thy mind shall go in search of, that it may pursue the highest. This is serving the All Highest, instead of darkness.
11. Now all of these things were taught in the religion of the olden time, and were given to man by thy God to raise man up toward my heavenly kingdom.
12. Nevertheless this religion pertained to man’s own entity, a religion that was to be answered either in reward or punishment upon himself personally. His own salvation being the subject paramount to all other considerations.
13. And even where they founded brotherhoods, as the brotherhood of Brahma; brotherhood of Buddha, and brotherhood of Jesus, they were nevertheless but selfish brotherhoods, whose aim was the salvation of each one’s own self.
14. Neither was it possible in the olden time to give man any other religion, it being necessary to appeal to his own advantages to make him heed thy God.
15. But now, behold, O man, I come to give a great religion, yet not to set aside the old; I come to such as do fulfill the old, and to give them the religion of Gods themselves!
16. Saying unto them: Go save others, and no longer concern yourselves about yourselves.
17. Go ye and provide a place of second resurrection on earth, where the people shall put away all low things and practice the all highest.
18. And call ye out unto the Uzians to come and inherit the place with you.
19. Nevertheless whosoever is only concerned as to the salvation of his own soul is not yet ready for the religion I give unto you.
20. Mine shall not concern themselves as to their own self’s salvation; for having faith in Jehovih, that if they raise others up, with their own wisdom and strength, they are already saved, and without fear.
21. Compare then my second resurrection in heaven with that which thou wouldst found on earth for the glory and honor of thy Creator.
22. How chooseth thy God his initiates? Hath he censors?–saying to all who come–hold, be ye examined and tried, to prove ye are worthy the second resurrection?
23. Nay, verily, for this would imply inquisition–a court of darkness.
24. Now, behold, O man, after the second resurrection was established in heaven, I called out unto all the heavens of the earth, saying: Come, all ye of the first resurrection, also, let my guardians go down to mortals and proclaim unto all people–the kingdom of God is open to all who choose to come.
25. Now some, who were not strong in faith in Jehovih said: Will we not be overrun with angels of darkness?
26. But thy God answered them, saying: That is not our matter; ours is to serve Jehovih by working for all whom He inspireth to come unto us. Because any one desireth to come–that is sufficient testimony that the light of Jehovih is upon him.
27. Others said: What of the indolent and the shiftless? Will they not overrun us and thus set aside the good we aim at?
28. And thy God answered them, saying: When ye practice the all highest, behold, the others will depart away from you.
29. Then others questioned, saying: Suppose they who come shall practice darkness–such as slander, or tattling–what then shall be done?
30. And thy God answered them, saying: Answer them not, lest ye also practice darkness.
31. Again they questioned, saying: Suppose they are good, but indolent? Suppose they say: Let us rest and sleep, Jehovih will provide for His chosen–what sayest thou of them?
32. And thy God answered, saying: Censure them not, for they are weak or diseased. Let your example heal them. Is it not in the covenant to do good with all of one’s wisdom and strength? Because they do little, the matter is betwixt them and Jehovih?
33. Lastly, O man, how can they, who live the all highest, cast the first stone at their neighbor?
34. For the act itself would be the committing of darkness.
35. Nevertheless, whoso hath strength and yet will not support himself–teach thou one such man to change his attributes, and thou shalt be honored amongst Gods.
36. Thy glory is to fulfill the all highest thyself. When all who can, will do this, thereon rest thy faith that the quickening power and wisdom of Jehovih will sustain His kingdom through His holy angels.