This weeks Message of Faith submitted by Rev. Joanne Rowden
The Power of Faith
While at Unity Convention in Overland Park, KS last week, I had the opportunity to participate in a workshop presented by Sharif Abdullah who has authored several books including Creating a World that Works for All. In his TED Talk, Sharif describes himself as a transformationist. His focus is on transforming our society and culture. One of the things he shared in the workshop was the prevalence of despair, depression, and hopelessness in our society. According to Sharif, creating a world that works for all is a spiritual act. It is through transcendence, an awareness that I am a part of something much greater, that I shift my consciousness and co-create a new society built on oneness rather than fear or separation. It is through spirituality that we shift out of despair and into an awareness of possibility.
In Unity, we teach possibility consciousness. Our first principle reminds us that there is only One Power in the universe, God the Good. Our second principle reminds us that each of us has a Divine Spirit, the Christ Spirit within our being. Our third principle reminds us that we create our world through the thoughts we hold. Unity also teaches us that we have been born with 12 Divine abilities, our 12 Powers. As we activate those 12 powers with possibility consciousness, we engage the Christ Spirit and allow ourselves to be the place where God shows up!.
The first power that we are exploring is faith. According to Charles Fillmore in the Revealing Word, faith is the perceiving power of the mind linked with the ability to shape substance. We can use faith to perceive our world from a consciousness of despair, depression and hopelessness. We can also use faith to perceive our world from a consciousness of hope and possibility. How we shape our world depends upon where we have placed our faith. As Sharif reminds us, we have the ability to shape our world through possibility and in so doing actively participate in creating a world that works for all.
Each of the powers has a disciple associated with it and Peter represents faith. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus asks, “Who do people say that I am?” The disciples give a variety of answers before Jesus specifically asks, “But who do YOU say that I am?” Peter responds, “You are the Christ, son of the living God.” Jesus then goes on to tell Peter that he is the rock upon which he will build his church. In Unity, we know Jesus is our wayshower, our teacher. Jesus is not the exception but the example. He perfectly expressed the Spirit of Christ and showed us all the way to do the same. The foundation of faith is the basis upon which you and I will build our Christ Spirit. The foundation of faith, is the firm foundation that we stand upon to support the societal transformation that will uplift us all into possibility consciousness.
Charles Fillmore identified the pineal gland as the faith location in the body. The pineal gland is a small pinecone shaped gland that lies right in the middle of the brain between the two hemispheres. Throughout time, the pineal gland has been associated with the third eye. French philosopher, Rene Descartes, considered the pineal gland the seat of the soul. Modern science knows the pineal gland is responsible for maintaining our circadian rhythms, our pattern of wakefulness and sleep. Meditation has been shown to activate healthy pineal gland function. As you and I enter into the stillness of the silence, we activate the faith center in our brain. Here we shift our consciousness from problem thinking to possibility thinking.
Each of the powers also has a color associated with it. Deep blue is the color of faith. Color therapy tells us deep blue conveys trust and truth. However, blue can also signify sadness as in, “I’m feeling blue.” This reminds me of faith. We can utilize our faith to perceive the world in possibility, but we can also utilize faith to perceive the world in despair. The choice is truly ours to make.
You may believe you need more faith if your life does not look the way you would like. However, in Unity we are reminded that we have all the faith we will ever need. Faith is one of our inherent abilities. The bigger question is where you and I are placing our faith. Sharif Abdullah reminds us that we can place our faith on love rather than fear. We can place our face on Oneness rather than separation. We can place our faith in possibility rather than problems. Activating our faith center through the Christ Spirit within, we discover, “I am the place where God shows up!”
This week remember that you are the place where God shows up. Rather than focusing on the problem, choose to be open to the possibility in each moment. Remember to take a breath and make the choice to allow God’s good to be revealed in, through and as you. You are Faith expressing.
Abundant peace and blessings… Rev. Joanne
Rev. Joanne Rowden is the senior minister at Unity Spiritual Center in Westlake, OH. She served as the minister at Unity in Edinboro for 13 years before taking on this new position on November 1, 2014. She lives in Hinckley, OH with her husband.