The Religion of Love

Brother Bernardís Christmas Address

Given in the Summertown Church, Oxford; 1986

Good evening friends.

We are very pleased to come into your midst once again and speak with you for a short while. In your Earth time it is many years since you have heard us speak [Lucy had not been to that church for some time] and yet we can feel the love coming from you.

You are coming up to the period that you term Christmas, the birthday that you celebrate of Jesus of Nazareth, so tonight we want to leave with you one or two ideas that might strike a chord in your minds.

When you think of that Gospel. The story of Mary becoming pregnant although she was unmarried, and Joseph being told by God, by Spirit to marry her, and then the journey to Bethlehem. We do not need to give you the details because they are written on everyone's mind in your country. You are taught about it from early childhood and always the story makes an impact upon you. The fact that there was no room for them at the inn so they were given shelter in a stable where Jesus was born. The miracle of the shepherds seeing the light in the sky and hearing the angel voices singing to them. The wise men travelling from the east to bring their gifts to the child, and then Mary, Joseph, and the baby leaving Bethlehem in order to avoid being killed by Herod's men.

Have you ever stopped to think how much truth there can be in that story? When you look back in your own lives how many things can you remember that occurred five, ten or fifty years ago? If you have been coming to church for years can you remember the talks that you were given years ago? Perhaps one or two things have remained in your minds, perhaps when you are talking over the contents of a service with your friends some other points will come up; all these things will be arranged by you in your minds in order to produce an impression. When you consider that none of the Gospels were written until years after Jesus had passed on to the other side, there were no tape recorders, there was no wireless, there were no television sets, there was no means of writing down the words that Jesus gave as he went about his mission: inevitably the message that He came to give, the story of His birth, of His life, of His death, became altered over the centuries and the original words were translated and retranslated. Every time there was something of the translator, something of the writer got into the words and they were just that little bit different from what actually happened.

The miracle is that the message that Jesus came to give, the message that started with His birth in a stable, or so we are told, throughout His mission in a little tiny country that was under the domination of the Roman Empire, the main essence of what he came to tell people still shines out today, even though it is two thousand or so years since he came.

The message is very simple if you come down to the basics of Christianity. Jesus came to the earth plane, He was a medium, probably the most powerful medium that has ever lived, overshadowed by the Christ Spirit, He came to give a simple message, to love one another.

At the time of Christmas your thoughts naturally turn to the baby being born in that stable, you like to give presents, you like to send cards. If there are rifts in the family, quite often you want to heal them for Christmas. In your western world all these things carry the imprint of love, carry the imprint of God, carry the mark that Jesus showed when He was on the earth plane. There is much in your bible that has been mistranslated, misunderstood, words have been omitted that were there originally and others have been added, yet throughout that message remains the same, the message of love.

There is so much good in mankind. You had an instance of it a short while ago when the ordinary people, you, your neighbours, your friends, your acquaintances, your work-mates were all moved by compassion because a nation on the other side of the world was dying of hunger. Through the medium of your television sets you could see it for yourselves and you were moved to give, to give as much as you could because somebody else needed help. That was love, love being made manifest, love being shown in a practical way and a lot of that money is not being used just for the relief of famine, but in order to put in hand projects that will make famines, like that one, a thing of the past. That is the true message of Christianity, to be able to help and to be able to help in such a way that other people can help themselves. It is of no use always being in a position to give alms to those who beg, it is surely much better to teach the beggar a trade, to give him a job, to make it possible for him to earn his own living.

Over the centuries there have been many, many crimes committed in the name of Christianity. People have been so narrow minded that they believed unless someone thought the same way that they did, unless they worshipped in the same way, then they had got to be exterminated.

Jesus came to give a message of hope, a message of love to all men. When He chose His twelve apostles He did not choose from the educated people, from the wealthy; He chose people from every walk of life, from the rich tax gatherer to the poor fisherman. He chose the men to follow Him who had the power of mediumship, who had a love of spirituality, whom He could see would be able to carry on the message that he was giving them. You know how they succeeded and how they failed. In a way it was a failure when Jesus was born in Bethlehem, in Nazareth, because, being a first born, there would have been many preparations made for Him in His own home and yet He had to cradle in a manger. It may be a fairy story, it may be the literal truth, it does not matter.

What is important is the fact that He was born, that He grew up, that He learned much and was able to talk to the priests in the Temple in a manner that astounded them for His age. In the words of one of the old books "He walked in the fear of the Lord", but the fear does not mean dread, that fear means awe, wonder. We know from what we have learned in the Gospels and from what we ourselves have experienced, both when we were on the earth plane, and now we are in the Spirit World, we know the value of the Spirit Power that comes from God. We know the possibilities of it, we know how it can be used, used for good. That Spirit power is not confined to those who have passed on, that Spirit power did not finish with Jesus of Nazareth, that Spirit power is still being expressed today.

Whenever you perform a deed of love, whenever you give a helping hand, whenever you give a listening ear, whenever you share with someone your experiences, give them your love, show them that you care, show them that they are important, important to themselves and to you, then you are showing the power of Spirit.

There is no one on the earth plane who does not have some gift, some talent, no one who doesn't have the opportunity of listening to someone else, of being able to help. It doesn't matter to Spirit whether you are the greatest living medium filling theatres and big halls, or whether you are just a simple member of a congregation doing the washing up at the end of a meeting. If you do it in the name of love you are doing it with the power of the Spirit.

As you come up to Christmas send out your thoughts and your love to those who are not so fortunate as yourself, remember those who are lonely, remember those who have lost loved ones at this time of the year, give your sympathy, give your love, give your prayers, give your healing, all these things are important, important to Spirit, important to God, and important to yourselves.

Spiritualism should be termed the religion of love, love for your fellow men, love for the world of nature around you, love for the whole of your world and all the other worlds, love for the Spirit Power.

Goodnight and God bless you all.