Gifts, Talents and Love

An Address from Brother Bernard

Recorded in the Summertown Church. January 8th, 1991

Good evening friends.

It is with joy that we come into your midst once again to leave with you one or two ideas that might be of help to you in your journey through life.

We were listening to the words that were read about the parable of the talents and we began to think of the spiritual gifts that are given to every man, woman and child upon Earth. What are those spiritual gifts? Are they gifts of clairvoyance, clairaudience, the ability to go into trance, the power of healing? Yes, they are all talents indeed but the most precious talent of all, the one that is given to everybody without stint, is the power to love.

When Jesus of Nazareth walked the earth plane He came, as you know, to a simple country family: father, mother; and he was born in a stable instead of being cared for in a well appointed home, and He had to flee from the land where He was born while he was still a babe because of Herod's suspicion; exiles, sent out from the country that they loved to wander in the deserts and the wilderness until, eventually, they came to Egypt.

When He did come back to his own land and He went up to that little place in Nazareth; to the carpenters shop where He was brought up as an orthodox Jew, attending the Synagogue on Sundays, listening to the words that were read from the books that you know as the Old Testament, being treated in every way as an ordinary Jewish boy. Yet, through it all, He knew that there was something more; something that was different about Him from the other children with whom He played.

We are told that when He was twelve He went to the Temple in Jerusalem and there He spoke with the Wise Men, with the Scribes and the Priests and He was able to confound them with their own wisdom. He was able to explain to them what some of the passages in the Old Testament meant and they were amazed at the powers that He displayed. Yet the next years of His life were spent in obscurity.

We are told very little in the Bible about his growing up. We hear no more of Him until John the Baptist begins to tackle his ministry and tells the people that there is one coming after him who will be a mighty teacher, a mighty leader; and Jesus was baptised in the Jordan by John the Baptist. Then He went into the wilderness for just a short period during which He was alone, seeing before Him the work that He had to undertake, the tasks that He had to do; and then He began His ministry.

Three years, that is all that we are given. Three years during which He walked up and down a little tiny country, a province of a great empire, in which He gathered to Himself a band of people: not the wise, not the high and mighty, not the wealthy, not the leaders of the people, but just ordinary folks; except that each of them had within him the power of Mediumship, had within him the communication with the Spirit.

As He spoke to them and as He preached to the people, and as He went about the country healing the sick, making the blind to see, casting out devils, restoring people to health and strength again so He was using His talents, He was using His powers, the powers from Spirit.

If you go back to the words of the New Testament, the simple words that are in the Gospel that He spoke, you see over and over again the message that He came to bring; the message of love. Jesus did not condemn anybody. When he found the woman taken in adultery He said to her "I do not condemn thee, but go and sin no more"; and the tax collector, the man who had gathered wealth by overtaxing the people by diverting some of the monies that were given to him for his own use, but Jesus saw within him the power of the Spirit and He made him one of His twelve. Over and over again it is the simple people that Jesus appealed to and it was through them that He was able to give His message.

When you come towards the end of Jesusí life upon Earth can you see how disappointed He must have been, time and time again, when those twelve who had been with Him for so long, who had listened so often to the words that He spoke still didn't seem to understand that He had come to bring a Kingdom of Heaven: that He had come to preach a Gospel of Love, that He was asking them to love their enemies, to bless them that curse you, to do good to them that dispitefully use you, to show love in all your dealings with the people around you. Yet, He was left alone in the Garden of Gethsemeny when His apostles slept, and when they took Him and brought Him before Herod, before Pilot, then even Peter deserted Him and denied that he knew Him.

Yet, out of that disappointment, out of that bitterness, out of that sorrow there came the message of Christianity, as you term it, and yet, when you come down to the basic facts, what is Christianity but the message of love.

There are thousands of people in your world who know nothing of Jesus; people who worship a different God in a different way. Are you going to try and bring them to believe in Jesus? Or are you prepared to let your love go out to them, realising that there are many pathways of truth? There are many different avenues; but they all lead to the God, the God whom Jesus worshipped and whom you worship.

You have been told that God is Spirit, you have also been told that you are also Spirit, a Spirit that is functioning in a body of Earth, a material body, and that, when you come to the end of your days upon Earth, you will leave your body behind, as though you were shedding an overall, and go forward into the Spirit World in your spirit body. That will happen to everything that has life whether it be an insect or an animal, a bird or a fish, or a human being. All of them are Spirit and Spirit is a part of God.

If you think of yourselves as being on a journey starting out very, very humbly and moving on through life after life, evolution after evolution, accepting what comes to you through the vehicle of Earth, through the world of matter and taking from each life something that will build you soul, something that will develop your spirit, something that will make you a little nearer to God, then you can look back and see that your pathway has led you into this belief, into the acceptance of Christianity, into the furtherance of your work upon Earth by the love that you have for your fellow men and women, by the love that you have for the world of nature, by the love which you have for the animals, by the love which you have for the world of Spirit.

Each one of you has got so many people on the other side of life. They come over to our side, leaving behind their earth bodies, and quite often they come close to you, not to tell you what you ought to do or what you ought not to do, not to give you advice, but just to give you help, to make you realise your heritage, the fact that you are gods in the making, and eventually, in the fullness of time, you will join that great Godhead.

We seem to be wandering in our thoughts. We started off with the simple facts of the life of Jesus as it is revealed to you in the New Testament but there is so much that occurred that you know nothing about. The Bible, as you come to know it, has been translated and retranslated; it has been altered by the thoughts of men over the centuries; and the religion which is preached today in your Christian Churches bears very little resemblance at times to that which Jesus came to give. He didn't bring Christianity into the world, his followers did that! We sometimes think there is too much of Paul in your religion and not enough of Jesus.

Your theologians can discuss endlessly the meaning of this or that word. Your various sects can pick out texts from the Bible that will support their thoughts, their ideas, even as you can. They can quote things to you which will show you that you are on the road to damnation, and they will often think that you are on the pathway to the Devil because you believe in the reality of Spirit.

But if you look at the Bible with a clear mind, if you accept the fact that what a lot is written there has been added to, has been altered in the passage of time, has even been altered by your own pathway, by your own development, by the understanding that you have nowadays which was forbidden to those in the past. Remember when Jesus walked in Galilee He was in a very tiny country and there was very little known about the world as a whole. Today nothing can happen in one part of the world without you knowing about it. How often do you shut your eyes to events that happen in other countries? You hear of an accident in your own land and you are moved by it, but if the same accident occurred across the other side of the world you would hardly give it a passing thought. Yet the people of those far off lands are children of God; are eternal spirits in a human body, even as you are; are your brothers and your sisters because you speak of God as being Father of all.

We want you to forget your narrowness, we want you to realise that you are citizens of the World not just citizens of one country; we want you to take the things of Earth and use them; to take the gifts which you have been given and work on them. The language of religion should be a language of action, a language of doing, a language of loving, a language of understanding. Whether a man be black or white, yellow or brown; whether he be speaking your language or some other, whether he worship in the way that you worship or whether he bows down to idols of wood and stone; always remember he is Spirit, even is you are, and he is related to you as you are related to every other person in your world, even to the smallest particle of nature. Everything that has life is a part of Spirit and one day, in the dim distant future, we cannot tell you when and you cannot see it, but everything that is a part of Spirit will be united in Spirit.

So our message to you tonight is very simple. Go back to the basics: look at the words of Jesus and try to put them into practice; send out your love to everyone in your world; look for the good in everybody and try to ignore that which is bad, that which is base, that which is not of God.

So we leave you with our blessing; praying that each one of you will feel the love coming from Spirit and will share it with everyone that you meet.

Goodnight and God bless you.