PREPARING FOR THE NEW LIFE: Using this week to make our moral and spiritual resolutions

`by Rev. Leland Stewart

At the heart of the emerging global civilization lies the gospel of the interdependent unity of all things.  All forms of life are interrelated with all other forms; none can exist without the others.  It is time, therefore, to proclaim this interdependence and to draw together those who feel ready to live by its dictates.  We are in the beginning days of the new dispensation whose transforming power has not yet been felt in a major way.  In drawing together these beings more and more throughout the world, the good news of the age now coming into existence will be ever more widely heard and its fruits realized.

                   A Unity-and-Diversity Gospel, World Scripture V. 2, page 181

Today is New Year’s Sunday, which lies in the middle of the week in which we are invited to reflect on our life and to make resolutions as to how we will move toward a more meaningful and spiritually awakened life in the coming year.  It is time also to improve on our commitment to the ethical principles taught by the world’s religions and by the learnings which have taken place since the ages led by these religions.  One of these teachings has been proclaimed by the DVD “Beyond Right and Wrong” that has been shown recently.

This month was opened with the question: “What Is the Good News?”  What is meant by that question is that every civilization has been guided by a new vision, usually brought forth by a religious leader.  In Asia its visionaries were initially Lao Tze and Confucius, and later on by the Buddha.  In the Middle East it was made manifest initially by Moses, then by Jesus of Nazareth, and later on by Mohammed.  From these religious visionaries, the religions moved to other countries of the world.

Our present world is in need of a new vision, and conditions are getting worse for the lack of such a clear vision.  Democracy is different in how it gives birth to the needed vision; it can no longer be just one person but rather the coming together of a community that manifests the vision, and eventually the awakening of the world to the power of that vision.   It may well be that a single individual will first give voice to that vision, but its effectiveness in transforming the world will require a mass movement that extends around the globe.  Many such efforts are underway, but they have yet to fully come together and to cooperate toward that end.

The Unity-and-Diversity World Council has focused on holding some form of interfaith gathering at this time of the year for more than half a century, beginning in 1958 at the Los Angeles City Hall.  This year, and for the past three years, it has been called the Interfaith Celebration of Light.  It was held on Saturday evening, December 13th, at the IMAN Cultural Center.

Now that it has been held, it is our turn to use this period from December 25th to January first to focus on our need for awakening and for making resolutions to establish our need for ethical and spiritual transformation.  What is the good news for you?  What is it that in your life needs changing in order for your highest and best to be released?  By the 31st of December it would be great for you to write down these resolutions and then commit to their actualization in the New Year.

Spirit is One; paths are many!!!




I stood under the sky and beheld the loving presence,

Radiant in a new glory,

And within my soul was the fresh stirring of limitless joy,

And I knew that I had overcome all sorrow,

And in the blessed fragrance of that moment that would last forever;

I knew that I had given birth to a child who had given birth to a new universe.

                   -Ali Wassil, Ph.D., World Scriptures Vol.2, page 119


December 21st is the last Sunday before December 25th, the time of the traditional Christmas.  The 25th of December is the time when Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus in the manger in the city of Bethlehem.  It is right that this celebration should continue.

At the same time, the notion of birth needs to be expanded to be a time for people of all faiths to celebrate together and as one body help to bring in a most powerful New Year.  Just this past week the television station PBS So. Cal. spoke about the name “interfaith” and the fact that people of interfaith persuasion tend to celebrate the Holy Day Season in different ways.  We of the Unity-and-Diversity World Council, along with help from a new group called Spiritual Salons, a week ago presented an Interfaith Celebration of Light.  The event had almost twenty sponsors and co-sponsors sharing together some focus on the light coming from our various religious and spiritual traditions.

The mystery religions celebrated at this time of the year before Christianity was born, and it took a number of years before Christians were willing to have their major celebration of the year at this same time, especially because Jesus was not born in December.  Now what is happening is that this same season is becoming a time for all faiths to celebrate together as they prepare for a powerful New Year.  The potential power of religions working together is immense, and the strength of this common purpose is sufficient to solve many of the social problems which we face around the world today.

The time from December 25th to January 1st is an excellent time to go within and search for resolutions which are powerful in moving our lives constructively forward in the New Year.  UDC will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2015, so it is especially important for us.  You are cordially invited to share the Holy Day Season in this way.

Spirit is One; paths are many!