God Is, I Am
It took a period of 40 for the earth to be purified by the flood, a period of 40 for Elijah to escape the evil queen, a period of 40 for the emancipated slaves to become a unified nation, a period of 40 for Moses to realize those so-called 10 commandments, a period of 40 for David to defeat Goliath, a period of 40 for Jesus to launch his ministry and another for the resurrection.
Such references to 40 ultimately total hundreds when Jewish and Christian scriptures are combined and even more when Islamic and other Middle Eastern scriptures are added.
So, while it’s wildly clear that 40 wasn’t written as a precise measure by yesterday’s writers (and mustn’t be read as a precise measure by today’s readers), it’s also clear that it meant, and means, something pretty notable!
Metaphysically speaking, we might say that 40 is the “whatever it takes” to get from one level of consciousness and expression to another. If you’re like me, you can identify “eras of 40” from your years – those stretches of “whatever it took” for you to give rise to something of new life. Certainly, we as a community, can do the same.
So, at this – the genesis of Unity in Lynnwood’s 40th year as an intentional spiritual community – let us embrace this opportunity to imagine ourselves upon a threshold intuited and framed as a point of sacred power and holy possibility for millennia. Let us express humble gratitude for what has been, cultivate deep faith in what will be, and extend profound love for all with whom we share the journey.
I’ve chosen to launch the 40th year with a revisit to the very core of what Unity represents. And, I do acknowledge that this “what Unity represents” is as varied as its interpreters. This “what Unity represents” can appear to be something akin to gatherings in any Episcopal cathedral - timeless hymns soaring among the rafters; and something akin to gatherings around any 1960’s campfire - John Denver lyrics floating over 12-string guitar.
And every possibility between.
So, perhaps I would do better to say that I’ve chosen to launch this time with a revisit to the very core of what Unity represents, as I see it. And let me say as well that these ideas aren’t new, though they may be languaged differently.
Humanity’s attempts to describe those realities and dynamics which seem to exist beyond those so obviou