I have always enjoyed Christian hymns. I remember as a young altar boy singing The King of Glory – the elegant melody, at once both beautiful stern, perfectly captured my idea of a just and powerful God in the Heavens. This was music fitting to Jesus!
Another favorite hymn is the old – and simpler – classic Let The Beauty Of Jesus Be Seen In Me. I love the music, but more than that, I love the sentiment and the meaning behind the song.
This hymn was written by a man named Albert Orsbon.
Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me
All His wonderful passion and purity
Oh, Thou Spirit divine, all my nature refine
Till the beauty of Jesus be seen in me.
This hymn is a helpful link between the Christianity of the past and A Course in Miracles which, for me, dismantles that past and allows me to live in a present that is only peaceful, only life-giving
One of my favorite lines in the text of A Course in Miracles has to do with what Jesus asks of us, especially in regards to his execution.
Teach not that I died in vain. Teach rather that I did not die by demonstrating that I live in you. For the undoing of the crucifixion of God’s Son is the work of the redemption, in which everyone has a part of equal value (T11.VI.7:3-5).
In A Course in Miracles, we witness to the power of the miracle – to the power of Jesus to transform our minds until they are mirrors of his peaceful own. This is what it means to teach – to allow our minds to be healed by Christ, and to see that healing reflected in our brothers and sisters. This is not necessarily teaching in a formal way, but rather in a total way. Everything we do and say testifies to what we believe we are – perfect thoughts of God or separated people wrapped in error and fear.
Christians have long recognized the role that Jesus plays as a model. In this regard, the course is not doing anything radical or unusual.
What the course does turn on its head is the notion that imitating Jesus is a matter of behavior. In other words, we don’t presume that if we take a holy action in the world then our mind will follow suit. Instead, we are learning to forgive everything – to bring it to that part of the mind that recalls its union with God – and thus see it rightly. We are in essence reversing the world’s understanding of cause and effect, but restoring cause to our own mind. That is where healing is required. Imitating Jesus, then, is not about doing this or that in the world – in terms of our external behavior – but rather looking at our unhealed mind with Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
When we do this, we are modeling Jesus. We are pursuing a radical equality, seeing all men and women as equals, wholly the same.
To be a student of A Course in Miracles in many ways puts one on a collision course with Christianity. So many of the shibboleths (like the resurrection, say) are tossed aside or reconfigured so completely they are altogether something new. Yet it pacifies me – and helps me to understand my own internal healing process – when I find and honor the connection between what has come before and what is now present.
So I raise my voice from time to time, turning to the old hymns while studying the new text, even bent – as so many men and women have been through the years – on bringing the beauty of Jesus to bear. And I am grateful indeed when your voice is lifted with mine.