Easter, spring, renewal and new beginnings simply go together. How exciting to see the promise of a new season a little more evident every day. From Isaiah’s “Behold, I will do a new thing” to Revelation’s “Behold, I am making all things new,” to Jesus’ promises of a new Kingdom, a new covenant, and a new commandment, renewal is at the heart of spring and the spiritual journey.
The Kingdom – In Old Testament times, the kingdom was the union of the 12 tribes of Israel. It was a civic, geographic and religious alliance of the Hebrew people that was finally achieved by King David, though short lived as the nation was segmented both by external invaders as well as internal schisms. It has long been the dream of faithful Jews that the Middle East kingdom of David be recreated, a dream much-evidenced by the ongoing strife we see in that part of the world.
Jesus taught of a New Kingdom that exists in the consciousness of mankind where God is finally known and understood. We alternately referred to this as the Christ consciousness or the kingdom of heaven, peace and harmony. While this New Kingdom is no earthly domain, its establishment in us is imminently more empowering than any earthly kingdom, state or country, whose borders and influence, history has taught us, are transitory at best. We establish ourselves in the Kingdom of God as we seek and practice spiritual enlightenment.
The Covenant – The ancient covenant between God and Its creation was established after Noah’s experience of the great flood. God’s promise was sealed by the appearance of a magnificent rainbow, a reminder to this day of God’s covenant of love and protection.
Jesus taught that a New Covenant is written in the heart of each and every person. That covenant is the higher consciousness that exists in the inner kingdom of God in us. Not a promise of protection from a wrathful, vengeful deity, the New Covenant is the gift of profoundly expanded spiritual awareness already in us that awaits our discovery.
The New Commandment – The Jewish faithful were strictly held to the 10 Commandments along with volumes of severe Levitical laws that carefully detailed the minutiae of everyday life purported to be pleasing to God. Jesus’ New Commandment distilled these harsh volumes into one simple, comprehensive and compelling statement: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” As we love ourselves and others, as we extend compassion, understanding, tolerance and justice, we love as Jesus commanded.
Be transformed by the renewing of your mind - If you would cultivate the promise of renewal this spring, I invite you to embrace the New Kingdom, The New Covenant and the New Commandment. The process is simple and rewarding:
- Make spiritual inquiry part of every day - Just a few minutes will renew you exponentially. Try Unity’s Daily Word, the Bible, A Course in Miracles, the Buddhist 4 Noble Truths and Eightfold Path, or other spiritually enlightened writings.
- Quiet your mind and heart and explore the Kingdom of God in you. A short time soaking in the presence of the Divine is revitalizing.
BE love! Extend pure, simple, compassionate, tolerant love first to yourself, for then you will have the experience of love to offer others.
Blessings of spring and renewal,