ACIM Text Reading & Workbook Lesson for June 24

ACIM Text Reading for June 24

Chapter 20 ~ The Vision of Holiness

I. Holy Week
This is Palm Sunday, the celebration of victory and the acceptance of the truth. Let us not spend this holy week brooding on the crucifixion of God’s Son, but happily in the celebration of his release. For Easter is the sign of peace, not pain. A slain Christ has no meaning. But a risen Christ becomes the symbol of the Son of God’s forgiveness on himself; the sign he looks upon himself as healed and whole.

This week begins with palms and ends with lilies, the white and holy sign the Son of God is innocent. Let no dark sign of crucifixion intervene between the journey and its purpose; between the acceptance of the truth and its expression. This week we celebrate life, not death. And we honor the perfect purity of the Son of God, and not his sins. Offer your brother the gift of lilies, not the crown of thorns; the gift of love and not the “gift” of fear. You stand beside your brother, thorns in one hand and lilies in the other, uncertain which to give. Join now with me and throw away the thorns, offering the lilies to replace them. This Easter I would have the gift of your forgiveness offered by you to me, and returned by me to you. We cannot be united in crucifixion and in death. Nor can the resurrection be complete till your forgiveness rests on Christ, along with mine.

A week is short, and yet this holy week is the symbol of the whole journey the Son of God has undertaken. He started with the sign of victory, the promise of the resurrection, already given him. Let him not wander into the temptation of crucifixion, and delay him there. Help him to go in peace beyond it, with the light of his own innocence lighting his way to his redemption and release. Hold him not back with thorns and nails when his redemption is so near. But let the whiteness of your shining gift of lilies speed him on his way to resurrection.

If you see glimpses of the face of Christ behind the veil, looking between the snow-white petals of the lilies you have received and given as your gift, you will behold your brother’s face and recognize it. I was a stranger and you took me in, not knowing who I was. Yet for your gift of lilies you will know. In your forgiveness of this stranger, alien to you and yet your ancient Friend, lies his release and your redemption with him. The time of Easter is a time of joy, and not of mourning. Look on your risen Friend, and celebrate his holiness along with me. For Easter is the time of your salvation, along with mine.

***

ACIM Workbook Lesson for June 24

Lesson 174
God is but Love, and therefore so am I.

(157) Into His Presence would I enter now.

God is but Love, and therefore so am I.

(158) Today I learn to give as I receive.

God is but Love, and therefore so am I.

***

ACIM Q & A for Today

Q #25: I have been a Course student for a long while now. I am discovering that specialness is hollow and am beginning to see through the ego’s ploys, aversions and manipulations. I detect a sadness and/or fear, though, because of the void that is there when I let go of the specialness that wants to be maintained through material “stuff” or relationships, etc. What would you suggest to help one over the hump, or through the veil so one can see everyone with a healed perception? The void can seem wide and deep, hence fearful.

A. Trust is essential as you go through this. At one point Jesus pleads with us not to “breathe life into your failing ego” (T.17.V.8.4); and he reassures us that “the death of specialness is not your death, but your awaking into eternal life” (T.24.II.14.4). These, among many other passages, are helpful reminders when we are going through rough times that, first of all, Jesus knows what we are going through, and second that everything will wind up okay if we just continue to practice forgiveness.

Most students go through what you have described. One person likened it to standing on a dock with one foot on the dock and the other on the edge of a boat that suddenly starts drifting away from the dock. Unpleasant, to put it mildly! Sometimes this experience reflects the well-known “dark night of the soul” spoken of in spiritual literature. This is discussed in the manual for teachers in the “Development of Trust” section, where Jesus describes the fifth stage as “a period of unsettling.” You are no longer firmly rooted in specialness but have not gotten beyond it entirely, because deep within your mind you know that to let go of specialness means letting go of your identity as a separate, independent individual. That is the underlying fear. If you simply acknowledge that and bring that fear to the love of Jesus in your mind, you will feel better.

There is no way around this stage of the process, if you want to wind up in the “right place.” You never want to force yourself to give up a relationship or something in the world you still enjoy, nor do you want to force yourself to see everyone with a healed perception. If you really wanted to get beyond the perception of separate interests, you would be beyond it. Thus, being honest about your reluctance to let go of specialness is extremely helpful. You also can ask yourself what it would feel like to relate to others without specialness. Sometimes that reveals an element in yourself that you weren’t aware of, a source of resistance that you didn’t know was there. Finally, just be patient and trust the process.

certain as god

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