Why People Become Ordained

Here are some stories about why people became ordained through the Universal Life Church and have trained through our online seminary. They readily share their stories and knowledge to help you add to yours.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Four Gospels

Four Gospels Essay by Rev. Sue Bellworthy
There are challenging and deep parts of all four gospels which all benefit from frequent re reading, revealing small and new gems on each occasion. Like many I prefer the gospel of John for it flows easily and has the most beautiful sound. The course does not touch on the beginning verses "in the beginning was the word………" which is surely one of the most moving passages. 
John records many of the miracles of Jesus. Here we have the famous conversion of water into wine. It would almost seem in this passage that Jesus is "pushed" into this first miracle by His mother who recognised His potential by virtue of His birth and was encouraging Him to begin . Maybe she had received a divine message to this effect. Regardless, at this wedding we see the famous change of water into wine that is reported to be so sweet and flavoursome that the guests wondered why it was kept till last. The water to wine is also a metaphor. It may stand for the conversion of something ordinary into something special – the conversion of a non-believer to a believer perhaps, or a form of enlightenment. It may also link to the communion – converting plain water to the blood of Christ, perhaps also showing that we may receive Christ in all things. The lesson suggests that this miracle shows us the wine within the water, the pure heart hidden within everyone. 
It is interesting how many possible meanings can be drawn from this apparently simple act. Key to all is the uncovering of the true spirit. We are all like that water. Through the power of the word we may become as the wine. I find it interesting too that the miracle implies that there is a divine spark within us all – something that is actually stated later in the gospel. This is a pagan belief and has, in many respects, been "edited out" by the orthodox church. However it is a valid concept. We were made of God and therefore must contain His essence. Spiritual growth is finding and contacting that essence within as well as without. This miracle teaches us this.
This gospel is full of such deep and powerful truths and they are presented in such a beautiful way that they stay in the mind where they may be pondered slowly allowing the true meaning to emerge by the grace of God.
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