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Jesus' Birthday Celebration


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#1 Rick Warren

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 02:18 PM

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Forum Friends,

Every year around August 21st readers of The Urantia Book gather with other believers to acknowledge and celebrate the first day of the incarnation of Jesus of Nazareth on Urantia. Make plans now with your local group to celebrate this new tradition with a reading and re-enactment of the Passover meal--the Last Supper--if you have a group nearby, or join us here online. UAI Forum opened this special topic just for celebrating the "remembrance supper".

From Paper 179:

...After the wine and the water had been mixed, they brought the cup to Jesus, who, when he had received it from the hand of Thaddeus, held it while he offered thanks. And when he had finished offering thanks, he said: "Take this cup and divide it among yourselves and, when you partake of it, realize that I shall not again drink with you the fruit of the vine since this is our last supper. When we sit down again in this manner, it will be in the kingdom to come...." P.1938 - §1


Other parts of Paper 179 and 122 will be presented incrementally during the day of the event. Join us if you can, even if silently and from afar. Your comments, prayers and quotes are invited.

Much love, Rick
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#2 Rick Warren

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Posted 21 August 2011 - 04:57 AM

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Good Day Forum Friends,

And what a day! Please join the Forum in remembrance of the anniversary of the birth of "Jesus" on Urantia, 2017 years ago today.

From Paper 122:8:

...All that night Mary was restless so that neither of them slept much. By the break of day the pangs of childbirth were well in evidence, and at noon, August 21, 7 B.C., with the help and kind ministrations of women fellow travelers, Mary was delivered of a male child. Jesus of Nazareth was born into the world, was wrapped in the clothes which Mary had brought along for such a possible contingency, and laid in a near-by manger.... P.1351 - §5

In just the same manner as all babies before that day and since have come into the world, the promised child was born; and on the eighth day, according to the Jewish practice, he was circumcised and formally named Joshua (Jesus)....






More will be posted as the day passes. Your comments, questions and quotes are invited.

PS. Happy Birthday Michael/Jesus!


***


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#3 Rick Warren

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Posted 21 August 2011 - 06:55 AM

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From Paper 179:5:


Establishing The Remembrance Supper ...As they brought Jesus the third cup of wine, the "cup of blessing," he arose from the couch and, taking the cup in his hands, blessed it, saying: "Take this cup, all of you, and drink of it. This shall be the cup of my remembrance. This is the cup of the blessing of a new dispensation of grace and truth. This shall be to you the emblem of the bestowal and ministry of the divine Spirit of Truth. And I will not again drink this cup with you until I drink in new form with you in the Father's eternal kingdom...." P.1941 - §6






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#4 Bonita

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Posted 21 August 2011 - 08:35 AM

What do you suppose is meant by the symbolism of the cup?

#5 Rick Warren

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Posted 21 August 2011 - 08:51 AM

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Glad to have you along for the celebration Forum friends, siblings all. Good Sonday to you :)

Paper 179:

...The apostles all sensed that something out of the ordinary was transpiring as they drank of this cup of blessing in profound reverence and perfect silence. The old Passover commemorated the emergence of their fathers from a state of racial slavery into individual freedom; now the Master was instituting a new remembrance supper as a symbol of the new dispensation wherein the enslaved individual emerges from the bondage of ceremonialism and selfishness into the spiritual joy of the brotherhood and fellowship of the liberated faith sons of the living God.

When they had finished drinking this new cup of remembrance, the Master took up the bread and, after giving thanks, broke it in pieces and, directing them to pass it around, said: "Take this bread of remembrance and eat it. I have told you that I am the bread of life. And this bread of life is the united life of the Father and the Son in one gift. The word of the Father, as revealed in the Son, is indeed the bread of life." When they had partaken of the bread of remembrance, the symbol of the living word of truth incarnated in the likeness of mortal flesh, they all sat down.... P.1942




Paper 122:

...At the noontide birth of Jesus the seraphim of Urantia, assembled under their directors, did sing anthems of glory over the Bethlehem manger, but these utterances of praise were not heard by human ears. No shepherds nor any other mortal creatures came to pay homage to the babe of Bethlehem until the day of the arrival of certain priests from Ur, who were sent down from Jerusalem by Zacharias..... P.1352 - §1





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#6 Rick Warren

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Posted 21 August 2011 - 11:27 AM

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Does this answer it, Bonita?


From Paper 179:


...In instituting this remembrance supper, the Master, as was always his habit, resorted to parables and symbols. He employed symbols because he wanted to teach certain great spiritual truths in such a manner as to make it difficult for his successors to attach precise interpretations and definite meanings to his words. In this way he sought to prevent successive generations from crystallizing his teaching and binding down his spiritual meanings by the dead chains of tradition and dogma. In the establishment of the only ceremony or sacrament associated with his whole life mission, Jesus took great pains to suggest his meanings rather than to commit himself to precise definitions. He did not wish to destroy the individual's concept of divine communion by establishing a precise form; neither did he desire to limit the believer's spiritual imagination by formally cramping it. He rather sought to set man's reborn soul free upon the joyous wings of a new and living spiritual liberty.... P.1942 - §3





What of the "three wise men"? From Paper 122:8:

These priests from Mesopotamia had been told sometime before by a strange religious teacher of their country that he had had a dream in which he was informed that "the light of life" was about to appear on earth as a babe and among the Jews. And thither went these three teachers looking for this "light of life." After many weeks of futile search in Jerusalem, they were about to return to Ur when Zacharias met them and disclosed his belief that Jesus was the object of their quest and sent them on to Bethlehem, where they found the babe and left their gifts with Mary, his earth mother. The babe was almost three weeks old at the time of their visit.... P.1352 - §2






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#7 Bonita

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Posted 21 August 2011 - 12:12 PM

Well it tells me that we are each to come up with our own meaning for "the cup", "the cup of the blessing of a new dispensation of grace and truth." Here's mine:

The idiom, "drink the cup," has meaning and I guess it means different things at different times to different people. I would think that if you take the cup and drink it that you are willing to swallow whatever is in it and deal with the consequences, like Socrates.

Jesus is offering us a cup of blessing, not a cup of poison, but we require faith to swallow it nonetheless. And if we do, we will be filled with grace and truth. We need faith to drink the cup, to take Jesus in, and allow him to do his work of grace and truth.

194:3.19 The coming of the Spirit of Truth purifies the human heart and leads the recipient to formulate a life purpose single to the will of God and the welfare of men. The material spirit of selfishness has been swallowed up in this new spiritual bestowal of selflessness.



#8 Meredith Van Woert

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Posted 21 August 2011 - 01:05 PM

Passover Seder involves drinking several cups of wine. From Wikipedia:

The Passover Seder (Hebrew: סֵדֶר‎ [ˈsedeʁ], "order, arrangement"; Yiddish: Seyder) is a Jewish ritual feast that marks the beginning of the Jewish holiday of Passover. It is conducted on the evenings of the 14th day of Nisan in the Hebrew calendar, and on the 15th by traditionally observant Jews living outside Israel. This corresponds to late March or April in the Gregorian calendar. The Seder is a ritual performed by a community or by multiple generations of a family, involving a retelling of the story of the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt. This story is in the Book of Exodus (Shemot) in the Hebrew Bible. The Seder itself is based on the Biblical verse commanding Jews to retell the story of the Exodus from Egypt: "You shall tell your child on that day, saying, 'It is because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt.'" (Exodus 13:8) Traditionally, families and friends gather in the evening to read the text of the Haggadah, an ancient work derived from the Mishnah (Pesahim 10).[1][2] The Haggadah contains the narrative of the Israelite exodus from Egypt, special blessings and rituals, commentaries from the Talmud, and special Passover songs. Seder customs include drinking four cups of wine, eating matza, partaking of symbolic foods placed on the Passover Seder Plate, and reclining in celebration of freedom.[3] The Seder is performed in much the same way by Jews all over the world.


The Four Cups

There is an obligation to drink four cups of wine during the Seder. The Mishnah says (Pes. 10:1) that even the poor are obliged to drink the four cups. Each cup is imbibed at a specific point in the Seder. The first is for Kiddush (קידוש), the second is for 'Maggid' (מגיד), the third is for Birkat Hamazon (ברכת המזון) and the fourth is for Hallel (הלל).[7][8]

Passover Seder table

The Four Cups represent the four expressions of deliverance promised by God Exodus 6:6-7: "I will bring out," "I will deliver," "I will redeem," and "I will take."[7]

The Vilna Gaon relates the Four Cups to four worlds: this world, the Messianic age, the world at the revival of the dead, and the world to come. The Maharal connects them to the four Matriarchs: Sarah, Rebeccah, Rachel, and Leah. (The three matzot, in turn, are connected to the three Patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.) The Abarbanel relates the cups to the four historical redemptions of the Jewish people: the choosing of Abraham, the Exodus from Egypt, the survival of the Jewish people throughout the exile, and the fourth which will happen at the end of days. Therefore it is very important.

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And then there is the phrase "My cup runneth over" from Psalms 23:5:

23:1 A Psalm of David. the Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

23:2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside the still waters.

23:3 He restoreth my soul; He guideth me in straight paths for His name's sake.

23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.

23:5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; Thou hast anointed my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.


-------------------------------


Jesus' last Passover celebration begins. The emblem of the cup is already framed in the minds of the Jewish people to represent deliverance, among other things.

P.1938 - §3 After drinking the first cup of the Passover, it was the Jewish custom for the host to arise from the table and wash his hands. Later on in the meal and after the second cup, all of the guests likewise rose up and washed their hands. Since the apostles knew that their Master never observed these rites of ceremonial hand washing, they were very curious to know what he intended to do when, after they had partaken of this first cup, he arose from the table and silently made his way over to near the door, where the water pitchers, basins, and towels had been placed. And their curiosity grew into astonishment as they saw the Master remove his outer garment, gird himself with a towel, and begin to pour water into one of the foot basins. Imagine the amazement of these twelve men, who had so recently refused to wash one another's feet, and who had engaged in such unseemly disputes about positions of honor at the table, when they saw him make his way around the unoccupied end of the table to the lowest seat of the feast, where Simon Peter reclined, and, kneeling down in the attitude of a servant, make ready to wash Simon's feet. As the Master knelt, all twelve arose as one man to their feet; even the traitorous Judas so far forgot his infamy for a moment as to arise with his fellow apostles in this expression of surprise, respect, and utter amazement.

There stood Simon Peter, looking down into the upturned face of his Master. Jesus said nothing; it was not necessary that he should speak. His attitude plainly revealed that he was minded to wash Simon Peter's feet. Notwithstanding his frailties of the flesh, Peter loved the Master. This Galilean fisherman was the first human being wholeheartedly to believe in the divinity of Jesus and to make full and public confession of that belief. And Peter had never since really doubted the divine nature of the Master. Since Peter so revered and honored Jesus in his heart, it was not strange that his soul resented the thought of Jesus' kneeling there before him in the attitude of a menial servant and proposing to wash his feet as would a slave. When Peter presently collected his wits sufficiently to address the Master, he spoke the heart feelings of all his fellow apostles.

After a few moments of this great embarrassment, Peter said, "Master, do you really mean to wash my feet?" And then, looking up into Peter's face, Jesus said: "You may not fully understand what I am about to do, but hereafter you will know the meaning of all these things." Then Simon Peter, drawing a long breath, said, "Master, you shall never wash my feet!" And each of the apostles nodded their approval of Peter's firm declaration of refusal to allow Jesus thus to humble himself before them.



Jesus elevated the meaning of the cup to new and glorious heights never known before by people or angels by saying, "This shall be the cup of my remembrance. This is the cup of the blessing of a new dispensation of grace and truth. This shall be to you the emblem of the bestowal and ministry of the divine Spirit of Truth."

It represents in symbol the bestowal and ministry of his Spirit of Truth.

All the best,
Meredith

#9 Rick Warren

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Posted 21 August 2011 - 01:45 PM

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A "symbolic rendezvous" here, Bonita!


From Paper 179:


...This supper of remembrance, when it is partaken of by those who are Son-believing and God-knowing, does not need to have associated with its symbolism any of man's puerile misinterpretations regarding the meaning of the divine presence, for upon all such occasions the Master is really present. The remembrance supper is the believer's symbolic rendezvous with Michael. When you become thus spirit-conscious, the Son is actually present, and his spirit fraternizes with the indwelling fragment of his Father.... P.1942 - §5




From Paper 122:8:

...These wise men saw no star to guide them to Bethlehem. The beautiful legend of the star of Bethlehem originated in this way: Jesus was born August 21 at noon, 7 B.C. On May 29, 7 B.C., there occurred an extraordinary conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in the constellation of Pisces. And it is a remarkable astronomic fact that similar conjunctions occurred on September 29 and December 5 of the same year. Upon the basis of these extraordinary but wholly natural events the well-meaning zealots of the succeeding generation constructed the appealing legend of the star of Bethlehem and the adoring Magi led thereby to the manger, where they beheld and worshiped the newborn babe. Oriental and near-Oriental minds delight in fairy stories, and they are continually spinning such beautiful myths about the lives of their religious leaders and political heroes. In the absence of printing, when most human knowledge was passed by word of mouth from one generation to another, it was very easy for myths to become traditions and for traditions eventually to become accepted as facts.... P.1352 - §3




Perfect addition Meredith!


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#10 Rick Warren

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Posted 21 August 2011 - 06:13 PM

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From Paper 179:5:



...When Jesus had thus established the supper of the remembrance, he said to the apostles: "And as often as you do this, do it in remembrance of me. And when you do remember me, first look back upon my life in the flesh, recall that I was once with you, and then, by faith, discern that you shall all some time sup with me in the Father's eternal kingdom. This is the new Passover which I leave with you, even the memory of my bestowal life, the word of eternal truth; and of my love for you, the outpouring of my Spirit of Truth upon all flesh...." P.1943 - 2




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#11 Rick Warren

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Posted 21 August 2011 - 07:45 PM

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From Paper 179:5:



...And they ended this celebration of the old but bloodless Passover in connection with the inauguration of the new supper of the remembrance, by singing, all together, the one hundred and eighteenth Psalm.... P.1943 - §3



Good night Father/Brother. Thanks yet again. Good morning Nigel :)



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#12 Alina

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Posted 21 August 2011 - 08:25 PM

Good night all! :)

Thanks Rick!
My best wishes, much happiness in this special day for all Urantians brothers!

Happy Birthday Jesus! Father, Master, Brother, Friend ...
Sovereign of Nebadon! Thanks!


122:8.5 At the noontide birth of Jesus the seraphim of Urantia, assembled under their directors, did sing anthems of glory over the Bethlehem manger, but these utterances of praise were not heard by human ears. No shepherds nor any other mortal creatures came to pay homage to the babe of Bethlehem until the day of the arrival of certain priests from Ur, who were sent down from Jerusalem by Zacharias.


LOVE


Alina
***

Edited by Alina, 21 August 2011 - 10:33 PM.


#13 Bonita

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 09:43 AM


...This supper of remembrance, when it is partaken of by those who are Son-believing and God-knowing, does not need to have associated with its symbolism any of man's puerile misinterpretations regarding the meaning of the divine presence, for upon all such occasions the Master is really present. The remembrance supper is the believer's symbolic rendezvous with Michael. When you become thus spirit-conscious, the Son is actually present, and his spirit fraternizes with the indwelling fragment of his Father.... P.1942 - §5



This quote tells us that when we partake of the "supper of remembrance" that the Master is "really" and "actually" present. I'm wondering if that happens only during the "supper of remembrance" or can it happen at any time a Son-believing and God-knowing individual desires it, with or without a supper? Is the supper merely symbolic. Or, do you think that the quote is strictly referring to Holy Communion? If not, what would a "supper of remembrance" be like without all the priestly invocations and magical incantations? Can it be had alone, or does the supper need to be a social event?

I'm inclined to think of the "supper of remembrance" as a form of prayer, a communion of the soul, which certainly can be done alone. This form of prayer results in the Master being "really" and "actually" present, fraternizing and fellowshipping with the Adjuster within the soul; and if the personality identifies with the soul, Michael will also be fraternizing and fellowshipping with the one who prays.

p2061:02 The proof, therefore, of your fellowship with the Spirit of Truth is not to be found in your consciousness of this spirit but rather in your experience of enhanced fellowship with Michael.



#14 Meredith Van Woert

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 08:58 PM

This quote tells us that when we partake of the "supper of remembrance" that the Master is "really" and "actually" present. I'm wondering if that happens only during the "supper of remembrance" or can it happen at any time a Son-believing and God-knowing individual desires it, with or without a supper?


Jesus did tell us this:

P.1763 - §0 "And all this is ever true, for, where two or three believers are gathered together, there am I in the midst of them."


If two or three are gathered together for group gossip or some mundane or sundry purpose, I doubt he participates. That's my guess. I think the motive of the occasion when people are gathered together is of import. There is a neighborliness about sharing food. Food brings people together. Nourishment is taken in to sustain one's physical body. We need to recharge the spiritual batteries too. We always share snacks at study group.

Study group affords the beauty and goodness of fellowship with Jesus in a manner very different from one's individual fellowship with Michael, as one is with like-minded people. We know he is there helping us understand the material. The cares of the day are washed away. One is uplifed and re-energized, refreshed in the spirit and nothing is better than being among friends and sharing the revelation according to one's understanding of it.

I think other religious settings such as church, synagogue, mosque, temple also afford the believer the time to fellowship in a wonderful way with God to the best of one's capacity and with like-minded people who share a tradition of meeting together to study and worship God.

All the best,
Meredith

#15 Bonita

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 08:49 AM

So, are you saying that Michael is only present when two or three are gathered? That communion or fellowship with Michael can only occur with a group of people?

What do you think about the symbolic supper of remembrance when you read this quote:

166:3.7 Slowly the apostles and many of the disciples were learning the meaning of Jesus’ early declaration: “Unless you are born again, born of the spirit, you cannot enter the kingdom of God.” Nevertheless, to all who are honest of heart and sincere in faith, it remains eternally true: “Behold, I stand at the doors of men’s hearts and knock, and if any man will open to me, I will come in and sup with him and will feed him with the bread of life; we shall be one in spirit and purpose, and so shall we ever be brethren in the long and fruitful service of the search for the Paradise Father.” And so, whether few or many are to be saved altogether depends on whether few or many will heed the invitation: “I am the door, I am the new and living way, and whosoever wills may enter to embark upon the endless truth-search for eternal life.”



Do you think Jesus' supper can be had between just two persons, Jesus/Michael and a single individual? Wouldn't that still be two person's gathered together?

#16 Meredith Van Woert

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 09:49 AM

Hi Bonita, all,

I made a comparison. At least I thought I made a comparrison. And of course I'm speaking about my own personal experience. On one hand (so to speak) I am supping with Jesus continuously. On the other hand when I am supping with Jesus along with others who are supping with Jesus (in particular readers at study group), the meal is elevated to an experiential height which is very different from when I am not with like-minded individuals.

I might add that I have many daily opportunities to fellowship with other people who are not UB readers, people who love and worship God. It is marvelous to fellowship with others. I will fellowship any way I can and with whomever I can. The experience is uplifting. This is a mutally edifying experience, whether or not Jesus is mentioned. I know he is present. I know the Spirit of Truth is doing his work. Reminds me of the quote I posted today in favorite UB quotes, as follows. Said Jesus:

P.1466 - §2 "If we know God, our real business on earth is so to live as to permit the Father to reveal himself in our lives, and thus will all God-seeking persons see the Father and ask for our help in finding out more about the God who in this manner finds expression in our lives."


For me it's not a question of which is better, individual and private communion with Jesus v. group communion with Jesus, but rather both. I think some people tend to find ways to make excuses to live in isolation as much as possible in the sense that they prefer their own company, rather that the company of other persons. It's just my opinion. There is value in interacting with others, especially with people who seem to be very different from one's self. What a marvelous opportunity to get to know someone you think is very different from you! But I am getting off track and into another area of discussion.

No matter what one's religion the Spirit of Truth is doing his work:

P.379 - §4 The Spirit of Truth works as one with the presence of the spirit of the Divine Minister. This dual spirit liaison hovers over the worlds, seeking to teach truth and to spiritually enlighten the minds of men, to inspire the souls of the creatures of the ascending races, and to lead the peoples dwelling on the evolutionary planets ever towards their Paradise goal of divine destiny.



All the best,
Meredith

#17 Bonita

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 10:19 AM

For me it's not a question of which is better, individual and private communion with Jesus v. group communion with Jesus, but rather both. I think some people tend to find ways to make excuses to live in isolation as much as possible in the sense that they prefer their own company, rather that the company of other persons. It's just my opinion. There is value in interacting with others, especially with people who seem to be very different from one's self. What a marvelous opportunity to get to know someone you think is very different from you! But I am getting off track and into another area of discussion.


I wasn't asking which one is better. Both are absolutely necessary, as you say. Jesus taught that there must be balance, that worship should alternate with service. However, he also taught:

141:7.5 Jesus made it plain that he had come to establish personal and eternal relations with men which should forever take precedence over all other human relationships.



Precedence means priority of importance, which means that a personal supper (fellowship) with Jesus/Michael has a higher priority of importance than supping (fellowshipping) with others. Worship first. Service is a result of worship. Service is a fruit that grows due to fellowship with Jesus/Michael, the true vine. It's a cause and effect relationship, or as the second quote below suggests, a natural "unfolding" of the individual's relationship with him.

170:3.8 It therefore is evident that the true and inner religion of the kingdom unfailingly and increasingly tends to manifest itself in practical avenues of social service. Jesus taught a living religion that impelled its believers to engage in the doing of loving service. But Jesus did not put ethics in the place of religion. He taught religion as a cause and ethics as a result.

170:3.10 The religion of the kingdom is personal, individual; the fruits, the results, are familial, social. Jesus never failed to exalt the sacredness of the individual as contrasted with the community. But he also recognized that man develops his character by unselfish service; that he unfolds his moral nature in loving relations with his fellows.



If you only sup with social groups, then the fruits are only social, not spiritual. You have to get spirituality from the source and then unfold it, in the form of spiritual fruit, within the social arena. I think this is also called, socialization of the personality.




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