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Zeal for God’s house—the gathering of God’s people—consumes me

--paraphrase of Psalm 69:9 By Michael Ketterhagen

Whenever any group of believers in the Spirit come together, the Divine Source of Life is there. According to the Gospel of Matthew in the Christian Scriptures, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” (Mt 18:20 NIV). The Christian Tradition calls that “gathering” in English “church.” It is derived from the Greek word “ekklesia”, which means “being called out” in order to come together. It was used during the early time of democracy when the citizens of Athens were called together to make decisions about the governance of their newly formed state.

In the past two weeks, I’ve had wonderful opportunities to experience the joy of coming together. Those gatherings—The Center’s Holiday Open House, the Holiday Retreat with Luke Ketterhagen at the CSA Motherhouse, and The Center’s most recent board meeting—uplifted me greatly. Each time, I found myself in awe at the beauty and wonder of these people who had come together for different purposes, yet were part of the growing love and expanding light within my life.

At each event, I spent time in the joyful presence of people who were happy being together. They were purposefully involved in fulfilling their own joy. I looked around during my time at each gathering and found myself smiling. I found myself realizing, as the Yoga Tradition believes, that the Divine Mother was present. I truly was blessed with being in the presence of the Open House folks talking and laughing with each other, and with the yoga retreat participants as they reconnected with their deeper selves during asana and meditation, and with the committed Center board members searching to do the will of the Divine during their decisions. My life was filled with wonder and awe as those “ekklesia” experiences. I was in the “house” of God, as Psalm 69:9 states.

I give thanks, especially on this Thanksgiving Day in 2023, for all these diverse communities, all these unique “church” experiences, for they truly are the dwelling place of God in my life. Their presence in my life does set me on fire, does consume me.

I pray that your Thanksgiving gathering with family and friends this year sets you on fire with the passion that consumes you. May these gatherings fill you with zeal for them.

I bow to the Divinity within you!

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