Let Us Say Amen
Grace Notes: of Music and Spirit
Let the Church Say Amen
Prescript: One Sunday I was running errands and none of my default radio stations were playing a song to my liking. So I tried the jazz station. When I heard strains of gospel music I had the urge to immediately switch back. I don’t like gospel because it sounds too churchy and old-timey, and these are not positive associations for me. But in that instant I also heard a beautiful, rich voice, and the still, small voice within told me to stick around and listen. My mind and my heart opened, and I heard the phenomenal rendition of “Let the Church Say Amen” that I share with you here.
If you notice you’re resisting this article or music, you’re not alone. There is something fundamental to human nature that resists simple acceptance. (Parents get a heavy dose of it when young children go through the “no, no, NO!” phase.) That something is the ego, an idea which perpetuates itself for the purpose of proving its independence from God. Because of guilt from the original idea of being separate from God, the ego fears the consequences of “being created” or “being the creation of” The Supreme Creator. So the ego attempts to take this power for itself. The late Kenneth Wapnick of the Foundation for A Course in Miracles called it “the authority problem.” The voice of the ego continually counsels us against saying “yes” to God, and against saying “yes” to many other things as well.
A Course in Miracles teaches us to see through this ego strategy and let go of our resistance to our identity as God’s Creation. It reinforces our learning by challenging us to let go of many other arguments that serve to hold us in the insanity of ego mind—for instance, the internal argument that I need to judge patriarchal language as sexist and dismiss whatever uses it. This is the function of the Course’s use of patriarchal language—”Father” for God, “Him,” “His Son” for us, the “Sonship,” etc. AND traditionally religious language—”Holy Spirit,” “Atonement,” “crucifixion,” “resurrection,” “salvation,” etc. The Course gives us practice in letting go of the form in favor of the content. We learn, eventually, to apply this concept to everything: seeing content over form.
When I first started to study the Course, the patriarchal, religious language bothered me. Then I learned enough of the content to understand that the language (“symbols of symbols, twice removed from reality“) was a tool I could choose to use for my healing or an excuse for staying stuck in ego consciousness. When we let go of the notion that we are self-created, we make room to experience once again the glorious truth that we are created by Love in the image of Love Itself.
There are so many ways to describe the everlasting life-changing message of A Course in Miracles (ACIM). Here’s one:
God has spoken. Let us (His church) say, “Amen.”
We are created by The God of Love, in Its Image, within God. God’s Creation is primary, supreme, eternal and unchangeable. But we seem to have another idea about who we are, and we are “lost” in it, living out this erroneous notion in a dream of separation from God. We will realize we are already home and awaken to our God-given identity through love and forgiveness within the dream.
Fail not in your function of loving
in a loveless place made out of darkness and deceit,
for thus are darkness and deceit undone.
(ACIM Text Chapter 13, From Perception to Knowledge, IX. “The Way of Salvation“)
We need to forgive others and ourselves. The ultimate forgiveness is for ourselves—for erecting the sham identity of “separate” in the dream of “not God.”
The grace of God rests gently on forgiving eyes,
and everything they look on speaks of Him to the beholder.
He can see no evil,
nothing in the world to fear,
and no one who is different from himself.
And as he loves them,
so he looks upon himself with love and gentleness.
He would no more condemn himself for his mistakes than damn another.
He is not an arbiter of vengeance nor a punisher of sin.
The kindness of his sight rests on himself with all the tenderness it offers others.
For he would only heal and only bless.
And being in accord with what God wills,
he has the power to heal and bless all those he looks on
with the grace of God upon his sight.
(ACIM Text Chapter 25, The Remedy, VII. “The Special Function”)
God speaks to us of Love Supreme. Let us simply say, “Amen.”
Music of all kinds inspires me—I am particularly attuned to the vibration of music. I love fusing the Course’s uplifting message with this music that supports it so well:
“Let the Church Say Amen,” by Andraé Crouch, featuring Marvin Winans
To this powerful combination I say, “Amen! YES! And so it is!”
With Peace and Love,
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