We have not only this strong assurance, ''I come in time,'' (Message No. 120) but many other voiced pledges from the Christ that the Day of Declaration is assured, and that the victory of love and justice is certain. Furthermore, if we tune in to the place of knowing within ourselves, we realize, beyond all the doubts we may have entertained, that this is the unshakable truth. So why be worried about the date of His coming world-wide expression of Pentecost? Or about anything else, for that matter?
In New Testament times the thought of the leaders of Judaism, and many of the people as well, was so crystallized that the truth embodied and proclaimed by the Christ could not get through the hard shell of their preconceived ideas about the coming Messiah. It had been prophesied that Elijah would come first to prepare the way. And indeed he did, reincarnated as John the Baptist. But he was not recognized. It had been prophesied that the Messiah would come as a prince, a king of David's line. That was also fulfilled, but in an unexpected way.
For His was a spiritual reign, as He said: ''My kingdom is not of this world.'' (John 18:36) Again, the crystallized expectation was for a Messiah, wielding political and military power, to drive out the hated Romans and restore the kingdom to Israel. They were far from ready to accept a Messiah who came as a peasant carpenter and homeless preacher, who eventually was nailed to a cross by soldiers of that Roman empire they expected him to destroy.
Now, since it is typical for the 'establishment' of any religion to become crystallized in time, perhaps it is not so surprising that the priests, rabbis, and Pharisees could not recognize him, for they were gazing through the thick and astigmatic lenses of their own privileges, prejudices and panic.
But how about His own disciples? They had spent years hiking with Him and hearing His teachings. They had become teachers and healers through His example and spirit. They had shared to some degree in His Gethsemane and crucifixion agony. And they had become witnesses to Him in His resurrected body. Surely, we surmise, they at least should be free of such mistaken and crystallized thinking. But look at the question they asked Him during one of those resurrection appearances:''Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?'' (Acts 1:6).
This illustrates how very hard it is to break free of the thick shells of our old thought-form. Those disciples seemed to be totally unaware that their thought was so crystallized.
Can we take an honest look at our own thought-form? We wouldn't be guilty of anything such as those disciples of old engaged in, now would we? Yet if our anxious expectation becomes glued or riveted to the idea that the great Day of Declaration must come about now ---- or at least within the next few weeks or months ---- let us beware of crystallization.
If we will but honestly look and listen to the Christ, He will open our eyes and understanding to the fact that right now, without waiting, He is presenting us with our great opportunity to help, to serve. As He challenges us in Message No. 121:''I place before you now the opportunity to work for Me... Fashion a network of hope which will sustain the world.''
Are we rising to that opportunity with all our energy? That network of hope will not only sustain the world, but ourselves as well, will it not? Maybe it will help us get over our depressing worries about how soon that Day of Declaration will come!
Again and again He asks us why we should wait. For instance, in Message No. 109, He asks:''Why wait for the sight of Me to act, when from yourselves in trust you can perform much? Take a little in trust, My friends, and act today as the warriors of old, waiting not for confirmation but glad to be in the vanguard. I, Maitreya, pledge My word ---- all shall be well; all manner of things shall be well. Therefore, My friends, fear not. Uphold the Light in men's hearts, the hope and trust in the future, and bring them to Me.''
A clear emphasis on our contribution is given in Message No. 114:"All that I shall do, I shall do through you. Know this to be true, My friends, and work for Me... Make known where you stand, My friends, and relieve the lot of your brothers.''
He points out to us that to the degree that we work now for justice and brotherhood, and embrace both the principle and practice of sharing, we are fulfilling our mission for Him and for all our sisters and brothers around the world.
Let us read and re-read often His assuring Messages, that we may absorb and embody His love and some of His power as we give ourselves now to the great work to which He is calling us all. We remember that on the Soul plane we are already one. Let us also be united in our consciousness. Thus with singing joy we may work together in love, in sharing, in the furthering of justice and brotherhood, with the deep assurance that Maitreya is with us and in us; that He does indeed come in time ---- His time. And that His cause ---- the lifting and salvaging of the world ---- cannot fail.
This article is a chapter from The Joy of Christ's Coming. This book by the late Rev. Howard Ray Carey was published by Share International Foundation in 1988. It is not currently available in hard copy form. Copyright © Share International Foundation. Biblical quotations are taken from the Revised Standard version unless otherwise indicated.
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