ACIM Text Reading for August 13
Chapter 26 ~ The Transition
IV. Where Sin Has Left
Forgiveness is this world’s equivalent of Heaven’s justice. It translates the world of sin into a simple world, where justice can be reflected from beyond the gate behind which total lack of limits lies. Nothing in boundless love could need forgiveness. And what is charity within the world gives way to simple justice past the gate that opens into Heaven. No one forgives unless he has believed in sin, and still believes that he has much to be forgiven. Forgiveness thus becomes the means by which he learns he has done nothing to forgive. Forgiveness always rests upon the one who offers it, until he sees himself as needing it no more. And thus is he returned to his real function of creating, which his forgiveness offers him again.
Forgiveness turns the world of sin into a world of glory, wonderful to see. Each flower shines in light, and every bird sings of the joy of Heaven. There is no sadness and there is no parting here, for everything is totally forgiven. And what has been forgiven must join, for nothing stands between to keep them separate and apart. The sinless must perceive that they are one, for nothing stands between to push the other off. And in the space that sin left vacant do they join as one, in gladness recognizing what is part of them has not been kept apart and separate.
The holy place on which you stand is but the space that sin has left. And here you see the face of Christ, arising in its place. Who could behold the face of Christ and not recall His Father as He really is? Who could fear love, and stand upon the ground where sin has left a place for Heaven’s altar to rise and tower far above the world, and reach beyond the universe to touch the Heart of all creation? What is Heaven but a song of gratitude and love and praise by everything created to the Source of its creation? The holiest of altars is set where once sin was believed to be. And here does every light of Heaven come, to be rekindled and increased in joy. For here is what was lost restored to them, and all their radiance made whole again.
Forgiveness brings no little miracles to lay before the gate of Heaven. Here the Son of God Himself comes to receive each gift that brings him nearer to his home. Not one is lost, and none is cherished more than any other. Each reminds him of his Father’s Love as surely as the rest. And each one teaches him that what he feared he loves the most. What but a miracle could change his mind, so that he understands that love cannot be feared? What other miracle is there but this? And what else need there be to make the space between you disappear?
Where sin once was perceived will rise a world that will become an altar to the truth, and you will join the lights of Heaven there, and sing their song of gratitude and praise. And as they come to you to be complete, so will you go with them. For no one hears the song of Heaven and remains without a voice that adds its power to the song, and makes it sweeter still. And each one joins the singing at the altar that was raised within the tiny spot that sin proclaimed to be its own. And what was tiny then has soared into a magnitude of song in which the universe has joined with but a single voice.
This tiny spot of sin that stands between you and your brother still is holding back the happy opening of Heaven’s gate. How little is the hindrance that withholds the wealth of Heaven from you. And how great will be the joy in Heaven when you join the mighty chorus to the Love of God!
ACIM Workbook Lesson for August 13
God is my Father, and His Son loves Him.
Father, I must return Your Love for me, for giving and receiving are the same, and You have given all Your Love to me. I must return it, for I want it mine in full awareness, blazing in my mind and keeping it within its kindly light, inviolate, beloved, with fear behind and only peace ahead. How still the way Your loving Son is led along to You!
Brother, we find that stillness now. The way is open. Now we follow it in peace together. You have reached your hand to me, and I will never leave you. We are one, and it is but this oneness that we seek, as we accomplish these few final steps which end a journey that was not begun.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #625: Could you please define or describe for me in detail what it is that you mean when you use the word “God”. My purpose for asking this question is that for many people the word “God” means many different things. When you see the symbol “God,” you sometimes think of a man with white hair or an energy source, or your higher self. At this point, I am very familiar with the illusion I have been creating. Considering the fact that many of us are so very bored here in this illusion, I would say we have pretty much mastered the state of fear. It’s everywhere. I thought perhaps if I might get an idea of “God” and focus my attention on that, I would begin to live in that world.
A: Although words are used to identify God as our Creator, Source, and Father, A Course in Miracles does not define or describe God. One of the important things it teaches us about God is that we cannot use words or ideas to describe Him: “words are symbols, and nothing that is true need be explained” (T.7.I.6:4). Furthermore, words and ideas are of the body, which belongs to the world that “was made as an attack on God, …[and] to be a place where God could enter not, and where His Son could be apart from Him” (W.pII.3.2:1,4). None of the images, ideas or words we associate with God has any real meaning. It is not ideas about God, but the experience of His Love that will lead us home.
The best we can do to explain the unexplainable, is to quote the following passage: “Truth [God] can only be experienced. It [God] cannot be described and it [God] cannot be explained. I [Jesus] can make you aware of the conditions of truth, but the experience is of God. Together we can meet its conditions, but truth [the memory of God, and our Identity as His Son] will dawn upon you of itself (T.8.VI.9:8,9,10,11). Although God cannot be explained and love cannot be taught (T.in.1:6) the good news is that we do not have to understand God, and love extends naturally when fear has been removed. As the above passage indicates, our goal is but to join with Jesus (who represents the part of our minds that remembers God) to meet the conditions of truth. The truth is that we are not the bodies we have identified with, but are minds with the power to choose. The choice we make is between accepting that we are as God created us (T.23.I.7), or rejecting the truth, thus identifying with the ego (the thought of separation) and the body. Since clearly we have made a choice to identify with the body, we must begin our “journey” where we think we are, and retrace our steps back to our minds to make a different choice. We do that by becoming aware of the blocks that we have put in place to keep God away; i.e., all the judgments that keep us separate from others. Once we have taken responsibility for these judgments, we have the opportunity to allow the Holy Spirit to transform them through forgiveness, which is “… but a willingness that truth be true” (T.26.VII.10:3). This willingness to let our mistaken beliefs be transformed is all that is required. That is what we need to focus on if we truly want the memory of God’s Love to replace fear.