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For the Week of April 9 - 12:  An Easter Message 
Hilma af Klint, The Dove No. 5, 1915
Father, they are your gift to me.
I wish that where I am
they also may be with me. …
I will make it known,
that the love with which you loved me
may be in them and I in them.
- John 17:24, 26
The great cycle of Holy Week is upon us: like the rings on a tree, it returns year by year by year, ever unveiling and yet never exhausting its mysteries – literal, cosmic, mystical, allegorical, spiritual, personal. Today, as we enter into these most holy of the days, we reflect on this time and its place in our time, bringing these mysteries into ourselves as food – for Work, for being, and perhaps for prayer.
The Holy Thursday Revolution
I came so that you may have life,
and have it to the full.
- John 10:10
"[T]he point of the Holy Thursday Revolution: Turn away from trying to dominate and devote yourselves to creating and nurturing. …
"This sense of the divine purpose for the world is central to the revolution. … [T]he divine intention itself is precisely to create – to express divine potentiality as a world, a finite temporal structure. … The Infinite expressing itself in the finite. …
"[T]he intent of the human being ought to be coincident with the divine intention, namely, to create, continue to create, further create the world, the finite order, and to develop it so that it expresses and increasingly reveals the divine …
"This is the meaning of the teaching that we are to be partners with God in making a place, indeed a home, for godliness in the finite, even in the material, which seems to be at the furthest remove from the Divine. In the story of the giving of the Torah, the revealed Teaching, the last thing said by God was 'Let them make a home for me, so that I may dwell among them' (Exodus 25:81). And Matthew's Gospel, in the Sermon on the Mount (5:17-18), includes the statement that the whole of the Teaching (Torah) is to be 'fulfilled,' filled full, brought to completion (plērōsai), nothing left unattained. … It is a work of art, and it is for God, for fulfillment of a creative intention.
"The human being, God's partner in this great enterprise, can be viewed as a kind of lens that concentrates and focuses the Divine Light in the world. Creating in our world here is an ongoing joint effort. … [God's] expectations for the rest of us were framed by the fourth evangelist as, 'The works that I do you also shall do, and greater works than these shall you do' (John 14:12). If we read this in the light of what we understand about cosmic evolution, what a vision opens! Creation isn't over. This isn't the peak. …
"Let us say, then, that creativity is a thrust into being: something new appears, what did not exist now exists. There is action in this – vitality, intention – and the intention is to put personal presence, self-reality, into what is created. To extend the creator's selfhood. To radiate the creator's being. God … secure in existence, intends to express unqualified joy in existence by giving existence to new beings. This is the divine generosity. …
"When you are productive and generous, when you send your energy out (agape), when you don't try to accumulate and hoard it (eros), you thereby draw more into the world from that inexhaustible Source. So don't be afraid. You are very valuable to God (Matthew 10:31). You can do what needs to be done. Don't wait for something magical and supernatural to transform the world. All of us together are the Messiah. We have to do it ourselves; it has to come from the inside out."
- Beatrice Bruteau, The Holy Thursday Revolution
How does the Work shine its light on the Holy Week mysteries?
My Father is still at work until now,
so I am at work.
- John 5:17
"It is possible to have many small births before the real birth takes place – before 'Christ is born within us' – just as it is possible to have many small deaths. In fact, this is how the Work proceeds. This is very much connected with Easter. The vernal equinox is a time of new beginnings and is recognized in all religions. … More things are possible – something may be born, but there must be sacrifices first. …
"The meaning of religious festivals is to help you to put your feeling of 'I' into bigger things. It is merciful that these times of Easter and Christmas exist, because we may for a time become more conscious of levels. Our feeling of 'I' may be drawn into inner things. …
" We will consider the descriptions of the robing and mocking of Christ, and the choice of the people in releasing Barabbas and having Christ crucified. Gurdjieff, Ouspensky, and Dr. Nicoll taught that the drama of Easter is a consciously planned drama having an inner as well as an outer meaning. … Barabbas, the pseudo king, is chosen and the real king, Christ, is put to death. Barabbas is described in the Gospels as a robber, murderer, traitor, and rebel. What is the robber in us? It is the false personality. Barabbas is in us. The crowd in the drama represents the multitude of 'I's in outer parts of centers, who, turned outward to life, seek to destroy the inner. Christ here represents 'Real I' and this is what is crucified in our daily lives when we give our feeling of 'I' to violent emotions. …
"Then there is Pilate in us – someone with knowledge, superior to the other 'I's. He knows better than he does. The disciples in us are trained in the Work; they can understand something. But even they cannot be relied on. They deny Christ; they can't stay awake … until the great shock comes; then they can change. It's the shock that failure gives that makes it possible to become different. Only the women in the Crucifixion story remain loyal. Women represent the emotions.
"And then you have to see Judas in yourself. This is psychological. When you think about it as a drama, you see Judas in a different way. Mr. Gurdjieff and Dr. Nicoll say that Judas was the chief disciple because he had the most difficult part to play. …
"You have heard of the term 'vicarious atonement' which is often misleading. Christ cannot die for us, but his death shows us the way. Dr. Nicoll couldn't die for us, but he showed us the way. It has to happen in us. You can see that it cannot be otherwise."
- Beryl Pogson, The Work Life, "Easter, March 24, 1959" and "The Crucifixion, April 15, 1960"
The Work: practicing resurrection day by day by day
"The idea of resurrection is that the quantity of force that would have gone into [negativity] and has been genuinely sacrificed from one's deepest will, reappears in a higher form – this is, on another level – and begins to create another form of insight, of understanding, of feeling, of thinking, just as an egg can become something quite different, on a quite different level.
"Now I am not speaking to you sentimentally or religiously but practically. The idea of sacrifice runs through all esotericism and is implicit in all the Work teaches. But the Work very rarely mentions the word sacrifice, speaking instead of transformation. If you genuinely forego something it has a chance of transforming itself. Now, to speak more coarsely, we often receive eggs, but never take the trouble to hatch them into chickens – in fact, we usually eat our eggs – i.e., identify. The egg is an excellent symbol of a new life. …
"Easter is not something that comes once a year but something that comes every day: the idea of non-identifying or dying to some typical mechanical reaction, is a daily possibility, and if it is done in a spirit of a kind of gaiety, it will gradually result in energy being transformed daily and passing upwards to another level which after a time will become a distinct experience to you."
- Maurice Nicoll, Commentaries, "An Easter Message," Vol. Two, pp. 663-664
"Perhaps what this means for you and me is that when we really discover what we are, we begin to discover a quality of fearlessness – not a naiveté, but a deep faith, that enables us to give and serve and live for others in the face of uncommon situations and demands. Resurrection fuels unconditional love and spending one's self to the fullest extent possible in service to love and joy, easing the suffering of our Common Father, and our brothers and sisters in the human family."
- Peter Haas, The Mark, April 2020
What impressions landed in me from these Easter reflections? How does practicing resurrection look for me in this time?
There is no Thursday class this week; it will resume next Thursday, April 16.
You are invited to participate in the Maundy Thursday to Easter offerings (all times listed below are Central Time).

8:00pm Taize Maundy Thursday Service
In addition to chanting favorite Taize songs, the camera will focus on each of the three "Stations of Devotion": The San Damiano Cross, the Mary Icon and the Candle Cross. The service will last about an hour. To participate, open Zoom, then click on Join Meeting and enter this meeting ID: 996-101-9778.

Noon Good Friday Service
Broadcast from the sanctuary, this service will conclude by 12:45pm (no Eucharist). To participate, open Zoom, then click on Join Meeting and enter this meeting ID: 996-101-9778.

Stay at Home "Stay With Me" 36-Hour Pray Vigil
Participate in the silence from your sacred home space as we wait in the Great Silence following the Good Friday Noon service to the beginning of the Easter Sunrise service. This is not a Zoom event. You can sign-up for a time-slot on Google Sheets by clicking HERE. Notice that multiple people can sign-up for the same slot. You are invited to light a Christ candle, ring your meditation bell, and rest with the Beloved for about 30 minutes of Centering Prayer. If you wish, you may choose multiple slots, consecutively or on different days.

Holy Saturday Paschal Half-Day Centering Prayer Retreat
Please sign into Zoom by 9:00am to partake in the full intention of the retreat. The retreat concludes at noon. To participate, open Zoom, then click on Join Meeting and enter this meeting ID: 705-436-3906.

6:30am Easter Sunrise Service
Enter into the joy of Easter in the silence of Centering Prayer and the joy of sacred Scripture and chant. The service will conclude by 7:00am. To participate, open Zoom, then click on Join Meeting and enter this meeting ID: 705-436-3906.

8:00am Lectio Divina Service and Intercessory Prayer 
This service includes 20 minutes of Centering Prayer, about 20 minutes of praying in the manner of Lectio Divina and then about 20 minutes of community sharing and reflection.  Immediately after the service is a time of praying for those on our community prayer list and those on our hearts. To participate, open Zoom, then click on Join Meeting and enter this meeting ID: 490-991-4302.

10:00am Easter Sunday Worship
Your presence is wished for to help all of us conclude the Lenten Octave with the joy of sounding our Easter DO! To participate, open Zoom, then click on Join Meeting and enter this meeting ID: 254-442-699.

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