[acimlessons_list] Lesson 168 - June 17
sue at circleofa.org
Thu Jun 16 05:59:10 EDT 2011
Lesson 168 - June 17
"Your grace is given me. I claim it now."
Purpose: To ask for and experience the gift of God's grace, which will give
us first the gift of vision, and then eternal knowledge. This will
momentarily lift us into Heaven, restore all forgotten memories and give us
certainty of Love. This is a new and holy day.
Morning/evening quiet time: At least five minutes; ideally, thirty or more.
Begin with the prayer at the end of the lesson: "Your grace is given me. I
claim it now. Father, I come to You. And You will come to me who ask. I am
the son You love." Make this prayer as heartfelt as you can. In it, you are
lifting your heart to God and asking Him for the gift of grace, in which He
leans down to you and raises you up to Him, restoring you to full awareness
of Him and His Love. The next lesson will explain that such moments will
only "replace the thought of time but for a little while" (W-pI.169.12:3),
but this little while can change your life forever. So ask for it with all
the desire you can, and then hold your mind in silent expectancy, poised,
motionless, waiting for the descent of His grace. And when your mind
wanders, repeat the prayer again to bring it back to that motionless
Hourly remembrance: One or two minutes as the hour strikes (reduce if
circumstances do not permit).
Repeat the prayer and spend a moment waiting in stillness for God's grace.
Then thank Him for the reflections of grace you experienced in the hour gone
by. And ask Him what He would have you do in the hour to come.
What is grace?
This lesson answers not in the impassive terms of a formal definition, but
in the picture of a warm, personal conversation with God. "God speaks to us.
Shall we not speak to Him?" (1:1-2). Grace is the concomitant of God's Love,
something that comes along with it as part of the package. He has always
loved us (1:7-11). Grace is the effect or application of that love which
guarantees His Love will be fully recognized and received. Grace is whatever
it takes to bring us out of our sleep. It is the movement of love that woos
us back to Him, the quiet whisper of His Voice in our minds that will not
let us go, the careful planning of our curriculum to help us unlearn
everything we have taught ourselves of fear, the activity of Spirit that
works constantly to win back our trust, restore our joy, assuage our guilt.
It is His answer to our despair. It is the means by which we recognize His
His grace is given me. His grace is "a given," a certainty, part of what it
means that God is Love. It is a gift, always available, always being given,
awaiting only my acknowledgment (2:5). It is "the gift by which God leans to
us and lifts us up" (3:2). And ultimately, grace is that aspect of His Love
in which "finally He comes Himself, and takes us in His Arms and sweeps away
the cobwebs of our sleep" (3:4).
Shall I not, then, today, sit down for a few minutes of quiet conversation
with this God of Love? Can I not take the time even to ask Him to grant me
this grace, which He has already granted? Can I not express my willingness
to receive it, to allow this sorry world to disappear from my sight,
replaced by true vision? Can I not tell Him that I long, at least in part of
myself, to be swept into His Arms? I may feel as though I am making some
kind of surrender or concession; I may believe I am giving something up, or
losing something dear to me. Yet if this opening to grace is surrender at
all, it is surrender only to Love. It is a sigh of lost resistance to what I
have always, always wanted. It is a loss of pretense, a falling back into
what I have always been. It is surrender to my Self. It is capitulation to
my Beloved; nothing more than that, and nothing less. It is the ultimate
manifestation of "falling in Love."
Do I doubt my own capacity to love, and to respond adequately to God's
immaculate, eternal Love? "Our faith lies in the Giver, not our own
acceptance" (5:2). It is not the power of my choice or my faith that works
the miracle, it is the power of Him Who gives it. His grace gives me the
means to lay down all my errors (5:3), even when I doubt my own ability to
do so. That is what grace is for. Grace supplies everything I think I lack.
As God once said to the Apostle Paul, "My grace is sufficient for thee" (2
Cor 12:9). What is grace? Everything we need to bring us home to God,
whatever form that might take.
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