Growing Together in the Light

A place for Friends and others to explore Quakerism. A place where, in the Light that comes from God, we may all grow and where we may hope to find a unity that underlies our diversity of language.

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Location: Arlington, Massachusetts, United States

Raised a Friend, I am currently a member of Fresh Pond Meeting in Cambridge, Mass. I am also active in Salem Quarterly Meeting and in New England Yearly Meeting.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Messiah No One Expected

In the days of Herod the Great, the people waited expectantly for the Messiah, the person who would liberate their country from imperial rule and bring about a new state of justice and peace. Nobody except Joseph and Mary and their immediate family was waiting expectantly for the birth of Jesus. No one expected a Messiah to be born in a stable to temporarily homeless people. No one expected a Messiah whose kingdom was not of this world. No one expected a Messiah who said that the Kingdom of God is within and among you already. No one expected a Messiah who said that the way to the Kingdom is to give up yourself. No one expected a Messiah who said that you must give up your ego, the false self, the one you have created, as if from fig leaves, to hide those parts you are ashamed of. Certainly no one expected a Messiah who would give himself up to be killed by the powers and principalities of that world of falsehood.

When the world, that world built on the basis of all those false selves, realized what this prophet was teaching, they rejected him, and finally killed him. No one expected a Messiah that would be reborn. The false self fears its death and does not realize that its death is a rebirth into wholeness whereby we accept in ourselves everything, even those parts we are ashamed of. It is a rebirth into a place where we can acknowledge our imperfections and make amends, when needed, for the times when our imperfections have hurt others. We are reborn into a place of honesty and integrity about ourselves and our place in the world. In that place we come to know the love of God but the world that is based on lies and deception hates us. It hates us because our integrity holds up a mirror to the false self, and the false self cannot stand what it sees. It is through meekness, humility and the death of this false self that we come into God's kingdom.

So the Messiah that no one expected, who was born in a stable and died on a cross and was reborn, is now standing outside and knocking on the doors of our hearts, asking us to let him in so that we too can be reborn. Asking that we might cease to be servants of God and become friends.

The world hasn't changed so much since the days of Herod. This advent season we are waiting the new president who will lead us into a world of justice and peace and prosperity while the Messiah is standing outside our door knocking.

Blessings to all,

Will T


Blogger Tom Smith said...


Even with, maybe especially with, the "audacity of hope" and "the change we need," we need to understand that the individual's relationship with the Spirit of Christ is what is required for God's will to be done on earth in His kingdom which is entirely and eternally different from the kingdoms of this world.

However, we as a community, Friends, US, UN, etc., need to work toward following the commandment of Christ to Love our neighbor, who might be our "enemy." If we work with and for this Love then we may be called friends of Christ.

For a long time I have insisted that the hymn "Joy to the World" is not really limited to Christmas. If we understand and believe that "The Lord IS Come," then we should keep the door open all through the year. Nor should we shy away from opening the door to the Spirit dwelling within, because all we feel we can offer is a lowly, humble person. For such was the the dwelling offered so many years ago.

December 20, 2008 2:48 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

What is the meaning of the sentence:

Asking that we might cease to be servants of God and become friends.

December 22, 2008 7:40 PM  
Blogger Will T said...

It is a shorthand reference to John 15:12-15. "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father." This is often cited as the origin of the name, The Religious Society of Friends.

Will T

December 23, 2008 9:10 PM  

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