Sunday Service Week 21: The Best Way to Worship
Reading from Rays of the One Light
Truth is one and eternal. Realize oneness with it in your deathless Self, within.
The following commentary is based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda.
In Chapter 4 of the Gospel of St. John, the woman of Samaria asks Jesus, Where is the best place to worship? This question might be expanded to include: What is the best church? What is the best religion? Is it important to go on pilgrimage to holy shrines? What is the best ritual? What is the best mantra or prayer?
Jesus cut across all such questioning with his reply:
The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him.
God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
It was not that outer considerations of place, church, ritual, etc., are irrelevant. Each person should find those practices and observances which are compatible with his own nature—one might say, with his own vibrations. Not everyone’s natural path is the same. God sent different religions into the world to satisfy different human needs.
The overarching concern, however, considering that the goal is to find God, is to include in one’s worship daily, inner communion with the Lord. God is Silence: He must be sought, therefore, in inner silence. God is Absolute Love: He must be sought, therefore, in the silence of love. God is Spirit, and thus immaterial: He must be sought, above all, in the expanding peace of deep meditation.
Thus, the Bhagavad Gita states in the sixth Chapter:
Sequestered should he sit,
Steadfastly meditating, solitary,
His thoughts controlled, his passions laid away,
From every craving for possession freed.
Wherever you are, whatever your outward beliefs and observances, seek God in the silence of your own soul.
Thus, through holy scripture, God has spoken to mankind.
Reading from Affirmations for Self-Healing
When you can view all human beings as members of your own extended family-your brothers and sisters, mothers, fathers, and children-then you will find wherever you go that love awaits you, welcomes you! It is God who gazes back at you, when you behold Him in all!
Kindness is the recognition that all are truly our own. Kindness comes from not minding how others feel about us. It comes from the simple understanding that kindness is its own reward, worth giving out to others, because the source of so much sweetness in ourselves. For those of broad sympathies, the very universe is home!Practice this affirmation out loud, guided by Swami Kriyananda
The whole world is my home, and the human race, my family. With God’s kindness I embrace all men.
Divine Mother, help me to see that by kindness to others I attract not only theirs in return, but Thy kindness as well. May I be kind to others always. May my kindness act as a channel of Thy unselfish love.