Shifting Our Perception of Lent
As lesson 323 in A Course in Miracles says, “I gladly make the ‘sacrifice’ of fear.” If you are ready to release the sacrificing thoughts that yoke you to fear, we can use the traditional time of Lent as a way to do just that. The Course invites us to look with a healed vision, guided by the Holy Spirit, to view the ideas of Christianity in a new light. Not one that separates us from each other, but one that unites us in healing. Therefore, during this time that leads up to Easter, referred to as the Lenten season, we will offer a series entitled: Lessons in Light. Why even deal with Lent, since the Course does not speak about it? Well, it may not say the word, but it does address the concept that is the focus of Lent, and an important one it is: sacrifice. So, as most in the western world might approach this time from the perspective of sacrifice, perhaps we can offer an alternative: light!
In the Course, light represents knowledge or truth which can be radiated into this world. Just as the light of the sun causes life to exist on this planet, so does the light we shine allow others to realize their true life purpose, allowing us to know it as well. So, we symbolically let our light shine during this time of Lent so the darkness and illusion of sacrifice may be seen no more.
In the Christian tradition, Lent is a time of fasting and penitence that begins with Ash Wednesday and continues until Easter. It is a time of sacrificing something we value, such as a specific type of food, a particular activity, etc., so that we might be closer to God, become more holy, and so on. In this scenario, God’s Love is seen as something we must bargain for, as the Course says, “giving to get,” (T-4.II.6:5) which is the central belief of the ego’s thought system. “When you associate giving with sacrifice, you give only because you believe that you are somehow getting something better, and can therefore do without the thing you give.” (ibid)
Under the Holy Spirit’s guidance, there is no sacrifice, for there is nothing to pay or atone for. We are God’s perfect children — heirs to His Kingdom. In His Presence, all pain is healed, and all thoughts of loss are met with peace. We are asked only to make the “sacrifice” of sacrifice (of suffering, sadness, anxiety, doubt, etc.) and to allow God’s Love and light to come streaming into our awareness.
Therefore, let us use this time of Lent as a symbolic way of releasing the idea of sacrifice — a world of suffering and pain — and to learn to live in the world while not being of the world. The Course says that truth does not demand that we give up the world, for that would appear as a sacrifice if we still value it, nor does it advocate we cherish the world. It invites us to walk a path between these two, one that leads away from loss, sacrifice, and deprivation. To follow this path, we are asked to step back and let Him lead the way. We are asked to think of Him a while each day so that He may speak to us and tell us of His limitless Love and great trust. (paraphrase Lesson 155)
This is our dedication as we begin these Lessons in Light, that we may place into God’s Hands the pain, fear, worry, suffering, sickness, and burdens of life so that we may awaken to the resurrected child of God we truly are. As the mythical bird, the Phoenix, arose out of the ashes, we too dust off the years of sacrifice by affirming our desire to “step back and let Him lead the way” as we “allow the light in us to shine upon the world throughout the day.” (W-237)
Lessons in Light
We invite you to join us for our Lessons in Light as this Easter season begins on Ash Wednesday, February 14, 2024. These lessons will be part of our free, weekly livestream meetings every Wednesday as a way to focus our minds on lasting transformation and healing. These lessons need not be a substitute for your regular workbook lesson from the Course but rather a supplement. For information, see our Meeting Page
1st Week of Light (February 14th), W-157:
“Into His Presence would I enter now.”
This is our dedication, to enter into God’s Presence and allow Him to lead the way. This awareness and willingness becomes a blessing that touches everyone we meet, think of, or who thinks of us. It becomes a vision that can truly transform this world and assure us that peace and healing are possible, for it is God’s Will for us.
2nd Week of Light (February 21st), W-93:
“Light and joy and peace abide in me.”
“Salvation requires the acceptance of but one thought; — you are as God created you, not what you made of yourself. …Your sinlessness is guaranteed by God.” We have forgotten our true Identity and made a self which contradicts God’s opinion. It is time for us to stop believing in a lie and join our will with God’s Will. This is our resurrection, our salvation and the world’s.
3rd Week of Light (February 28th), W-46:
“God is the Love in which I forgive.”
“God does not forgive because He has never condemned,” but through His Love we find the strength to look at the pains of our lives and only see the calls for love. And as we recognize the “pains” for what they are, we recognize our innocence and that of all our brothers.
4th Week of Light (March 6th), W-68
“Love holds no grievances.”
“You who were created by love like itself can hold no grievances and know your Self.” Therefore, if we are to know God’s gifts and help for us, we must be willing to “sacrifice” grievances. “Love holds no grievances. I would wake to my Self by laying all my grievances aside and wakening in Him.”
5th Week of Light (March 13th), W-34:
“I could see peace instead of this.”
“Peace of mind is clearly an internal matter. It must begin with your own thoughts, and then extend outward. It is from your peace of mind that a peaceful perception of the world arises.” It is our choice to experience peace!
6th Week of Light (March 20th), W-47:
“God is the strength in which I trust.”
Our own strength has failed us, but God is our safety and strength in every circumstance. “Use it [this thought] as your answer to any disturbance. Remember that peace is your right, because you are giving your trust to the strength of God.”
7th Week of Light (March 27th), W-50:
“I am sustained by the Love of God.”
“Put not your faith in illusions. They will fail you. Put all your faith in the Love of God within you; eternal, changeless and forever unfailing. This is the answer to whatever confronts you today.”
Series begins February 14th, 2024
Join us as we explore the season of Easter through the lens of A Course in Miracles. We encourage you to subscribe to the weekly recordings, so you can experience this series and catch up on any lesson you miss through our archives. Here’s what others are saying…
“Just finished the meeting on ‘I could see peace instead of this.’ Beverly, I don’t remember anyone tying together the five workbook lessons in the series or any workbook lessons from the Course like you did. All I can say is WOW, it held a very deep meaning to me. Thank you.” — M.G., Georgia
“This is my fifth season listening to Beverly go through the Lessons in Light. It is a wonderful opportunity to use this time to give up stuff that does not serve us anymore. I am amazed at what rolls out of Beverly when she teaches. She may plan a general lesson but those comments simply come, a wonderful orator and leader and a good listener.” — K.S., Massachusetts
“These are very timely lessons for me. I have listened to the GRIEVANCES lesson about six times! Thanks so much for all you do.” — M.M., Florida
“The study group Lessons in Light have been enormously and powerfully helpful to me. My sinlessness is guaranteed by God is a message just for me. I didn’t realize how much guilt and unworthiness I was still holding onto until I had a light bulb moment when I suddenly knew that the reason I have been feeling stuck lately is because I have not been as accepting and loving toward myself as I should be. My ego is still in undeserving mode. It is all tying in together to help me free myself from some childhood and early adult thinking. Thank you and the group for being so instrumental in helping me move past my past.” – S.G., Wisconsin
“The Lessons in Light series in the study group sessions have made this season very memorable for me. Thank you for your insights and please thank the group for their willingness and courage to share with me, and other listeners their struggles and miracles. Since hearing the workbook lessons on grievances, I have been on a rollercoaster of emotions having images of people with whom I have grievances come to mind. I am then able to ask for help to see them as friends and for our Spirits to be seen as one. It is working! As a result I am feeling such joy! Thank you all for helping find this joy and peace.” – M.R., Illinois
These lessons with Beverly have been so helpful. All of the Lenten lessons have been so meaningful — especially this one: “I could see Peace instead of this.” I have been using this lesson each day….it makes so much sense to me. Thanks!” – P.R., Georgia