This 20-lesson online course, guides you on a journey of healing with the Aramaic Lord's Prayer. Return to this ancient prayer and to Jesus' original language and original style of prayer. Become a channel of Divine love, joy, delight, healing, and peace by embracing the prayer of Jesus, as if for the first time. See what new meanings await your life!
From Denial to Desire: New Perspectives on a Lenten Path
By Rev. Elizabeth A. Reed, Ph.D.
While many would describe Jesus' message during the Lenten season as one of willingness to endure a life path of denial and sacrifice, there are those who would argue to the contrary. Yeshua (Jesus) lived a life in total alignment with his
in total alignment with Divine Unity's Purpose, in total moment-by-moment, breath-by-breath union with Unity.
The path of those who would follow Yeshua is not seen as denial but desire. Yeshua invites all of us to fulfill our
unique purpose in life
aligned with Sacred Unity's purpose for our lives. This is our heart's most true delight.
Living from true purpose
brings us great delight. While pursuing one's divine purpose may bring times or experiences of denial or sacrifice, these actions are part of fulfillment of something larger than ourselves.
Sacrifice is a surface appearance only. For we can delight in whatever the action is that is called for from us, even if seemingly sacrificial. When consciously aligned with Unity's Purpose, all of our life choices and actions are ultimately pleasure and delight.
What were your early experiences and memories about Lent?
The Lenten season within the Christian tradition is a forty-day period, traditionally pursued through some sort of path of denial. "Fish on Friday" is one of my memories of public elementary school --- even in a small town in the southern Bible Belt, dominated by conservative Protestantism, Friday lunches during Lenten weeks meant fish sticks and fries. "Not such a bad thing" we thought. Parents tried to explain that we were giving up red meat and that somehow this was related to Jesus' suffering during his forty days in the wilderness.
Maturity into adulthood simply meant that we could now independently choose our time-limited sacrifice. During the days immediately preceding Lent, church-goers would be encouraged to find that to which we were most attached/addicted and give it up for forty days. So each of us would dutifully find something and pronounce what would be the Lenten sacrifice. It might be a favorite food (chocolate, ice cream, fried foods, red meat), or a vice (smoking, alcohol, or again, chocolate!), or just something that one loved to do perhaps a bit too much (card games, two hours of nightly reading before bedtime, dancing on Saturday nights). Somehow there was a disconnect. We all knew that this sacrifice was meant to connect us more deeply with Christ's sacrifices during his forty day retreat. Yet for most the period of denial often fell flat. Maybe someone lost a few pounds or maybe even managed to finally quit smoking. Nothing wrong with that! Yet how did this deepen anyone's spirituality?
The story of Jesus' forty days in the wilderness is filled with many layers of rich meaning. There are many teachings that can be uncovered through this deep experience of retreat however denial and sacrifice may not be the heart of them. Constant
clarity of life purpose
would be one alternative; the clarity of purpose that can only be gained through the inner work during many days of retreat. This clarity of purpose was tested through thoughts and images, through temptations that could have distracted Yeshua or pulled him towards another path or purpose. Yeshua emerged from the forty day wilderness retreat with clarity of purpose and launched a teaching and healing ministry that ultimately would transform countless lives over many centuries.
The Aramaic Lord's Prayer
We turn to Yeshua's native tongue,
the Aramaic language,
which offers new pathways of understanding. One small layer of meaning revealed through
the language of Jesus
can be found in the words "saba ana," -- these words were used in his prayer prior to fulfilling a request for healing. These words indicate calling forth the delight of the Divine, asking that the pleasure of Unity's Purpose be known in and through existence. Jesus would essentially say "May your delight be known here through us."
The words "saba ana" relate to the word for "will" in the Lord's Prayer. "Tzevyanah" is translated as "will" in the line "Thy will be done, Thy kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven."
Rather than "will" --- a word that conjures up many images of Nike's "Just Do It" --- a better image might be the pleasure and delight of the Divine. This delight is like the desire of two lovers for each other, desire and pleasure in union with each other.
The Lord's Prayer
King James Bible
The Pronunciation of this line in Aramaic
By Neil Douglas-Klotz
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Nehwey tzevyanach aykannad'bashmaya aph b'arha.
Embody your desire in every light and form.
As you journey through the remaining days of the Lenten season...
May your mind and heart be opened to the "saba ana" of the Divine in each moment. May you find clarity of
aligned with Unity's purpose. May this Lenten path release denial, obligation, and meaningless sacrifice. May this path open to you a life lived from "heart's desire."
Let your delight flow through us,
in wave and particle.
Let your pleasure manifest in us,
in light and form.
Let your desire act through us
as communal and individual purpose.