A week after the prior experience (This Is My Church), I was again awake in the middle of the night wandering around the tent city housing those who had come to assist with the Marianna cleanup. Naturally, I began to obsess anew about not understanding. I pulled out my phone, and began to record (editorial additions in italics):
This is my church.
What don’t you understand?
It isn’t about a specific dogma.
This is my will, that you care for each other, that you bless those who are oppressed: the suffering, the needy, the poor, the afflicted. This is my spirit, this the doing.
This is a baptism. All here have descended and have sacrificed (not all to the same degree) to be here. This is the Spirit of Christ. [reference sacrament prayer] Can you not see these doing my will, which shall in no wise lose their reward?
Herein is the parable: it is those who do the will of the master. Do likewise.
But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went. And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not. Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. (Matthew 21:28–31)
I sacrificed all things. You sacrifice little. Nevertheless, you shall also receive a blessing. [reference Matthew 10:42] Do more. If you want to have my spirit to be with you and in you, do more. If you want to always have my spirit, always do these things. Bless others.
Do this to the glory and honor of he who is your master. Else, what master do you serve? Satan is ever on guard to mock God. Serve with a singleness of heart. Seek not the honors (accolades, recognition) of men — seek not the honors and glory of a false god.
Why make this more complicated than it is?
Do you think to benefit from understanding the mysteries if you do not these things? Do you yet not understand that it is all one? If having greater knowledge of the things of God does not inspire you to greater service to others, it will be a cursing rather than a blessing.
Herein is the parable of the disobedient son [again referencing Matthew 21:28-31]: which son do you think learned all things at the hand of his father, who inclined his ear and all his energy to understand his father’s words, and yet did not the fathers will? The end of all his learning heaped upon him greater regret and ultimately the loss of all confidence to face his father.
Previously I told you that “the church” cannot save you. Neither can knowledge alone save you. Only he who does my will can be saved.
Do you yet not understand? This is my church.
Later that day, as we were working on Mary’s property (see: Michael & Marianna) those words went through my mind. Having been invited by Mary to offer the prayer, inspiration took over as if I was offering a blessing, which it was, in all senses of the word. A small part of what was said included, “we offer this sacrament as a nearly infinitesimal act of love [comparatively speaking] for our Savior and gratitude for His infinite atonement. We have not done this for the honors and accolades of men, but to glorify Thee and Thy Son. All glory be Thine.”
There are clearly a number of other interpretations and usages for the word “church.” In this context, at this time, it seemed pretty clear to me that…. Well, I need to change. Again. More.