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Easter Retreat: April 10-12, 2020

Celebration of the Christ Resurrection

Easter Sunrise

Video: The Highest Event on Earth
bioFlower A. Newhouse, The Message the Glory of Easter Teaches Us

Easter is the most powerful of our sacred days as we honor the occasion of that Matchless Person whose living made Him the model for all of our becoming. It signifies the greatest achievement that humanity may attain through our Lord Emmanuel's triumph. The event of Easter that we celebrate is capable of filling our entire lives continually with growing purposefulness. It suggests the recognition and the acceptance of our own divine immortality, and that we are unfinished products with the responsibility of bringing ourselves to completeness. We want to be risen with Him.

Beginning with Lent, forces gather and multiply each passing week as Easter draws closer. On the night of Good Friday, our Easter Retreat begins as we celebrate by taking Holy Communion. Then the moment of transcendent outshining—the instant His victory over death is rekindled in the human spirit—as we gather for our Easter Sunrise Service early Sunday morning.

At Questhaven this is observed each year when a long column of celebrants ascend the trail to Inspiration Point, overlooking the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Laguna mountains to the east. The sky is just beginning to lighten on the horizon when the first hikers of the group make their way through the Oak Grove Sanctuary to the start of the trail. Several minutes before the sunrise itself, everyone is in position around the huge white cross near the summit. As the first edge of the sun's rim looms up over the distant mountains, everyone rises and silently salutes its flaming and deathless message: "Christ is risen!"

Let the Eastertide currents flood into all of your bodies with their redeeming energies.
bioFlower A. Newhouse, Wellsprings of the Holy Quest

Christ Ascending, James Tissot

Holy Week Study and Preparation

Today begins Holy Week, the seven days leading up to the dawn of Easter. This week we are each given a priceless opportunity to experience a deeper spiritual communion with our Lord Christ than ever before. In her book, The Drama of Incarnation, the Reverend Flower A. Newhouse narrates the events that took place in Jerusalem during Holy Week. She describes each day in a way that helps us develop a deeper understanding of the purpose of Jesus' life and how to apply His teachings to our own lives in order to improve and master ourselves. A few gleanings from her book follow.

Video: A Historic and Spiritual Introduction to Holy Week
bioReverend Hal Lingerman

Palm Sunday

Suggested Bible reading: Matthew 21 :1-17

Video: The Palm Sunday Experience
bioReverend Hal Lingerman

Visualize Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey, a symbol of peace. See the crowds of people who have come to honor Him as they lay palm branches on the path before Him to smooth His way. Hear them shout words of praise and adoration: Hosanna! Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord.

Their cheers symbolize to Jesus that His mission has reached the stage of recognition, but their adulation brings forth no pride. For lifetime after lifetime He devoted Himself to achieving spiritual mastery and conquering the physical forces of life. Over and over He chose to follow and serve the Light. For ages He accustomed Himself to respect and surrender to the will of higher authority. He knew the praise and honor rightfully belong to God, for Whom He had an unusual and tremendous veneration and with Whom he had developed At-One-Ment. He knew that a cup is not to be honored above the Living Waters it chalices.

Go Ye Therefore, Harry Anderson

Holy Monday

Suggested Bible reading: Matthew 21 :17-46

Video: The Holy Monday Experience
bioReverend Hal Lingerman

On Holy Monday and Tuesday Jesus summarized, in essence, the totality of His teachings relating to the creative power of consciousness. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. Whatever we take into the center of our Indwelling Self's attention, reverently, will cause action and solution—though in the manner of the Spirit's answer, rather than according to the limited dictates of our human minds.

Jesus taught the multitudes in the temple during the day; and in the evening, He withdrew to the Mount of Olives where He prophesied future events and enlarged upon the deeper teachings to a few of His disciples. He taught of the importance of an active spirit of humility and teachableness. When races, religions, groups or individuals become proud, believing themselves to be the "elect," their vainglory cuts them off from communion. Humility is a living, creative state of consciousness that is open to God.

As we begin our morning meditation, let us align ourselves with our Divine Spirit. Our physical body is aligned to our astral (emotional) body. We attune our astral body to our mental body and our mental body to our Causal (Soulic) body. Our soul-being is aligned to Lord God Indwelling, and we aspire to know at-one-ment with this perfect and inunortal God Spirit.

Christ the Consolator, Carl Bloch

Holy Tuesday

Suggested Bible reading: Matthew 22-23

Video: The Holy Tuesday Experience
bioReverend Hal Lingerman

The temple teachings Jesus gave on Tuesday were devoted to the requirements and obligations for individual initiation. For many are called but few are chosen. Each of us who thirsts for knowledge of our Lord is required to go through a period of probation which brings out hidden aspects of our character. Many who desired to be accepted as disciples were unable to continue with their inner training because they were unwilling or unable to crucify self-love.

On this day Jesus also emphasized the commandments He considered cardinal among all commandments. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. And ... Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

Jesus used the expression salvation ("a safe return") frequently in His ministry. Flower tells us that Christ's efforts on earth signified a right inducement and a safe way for each of us, by living according to His leadership, to consciously return thought by thought, act by act, to our Father's Home. He emphasized that our respect for spiritual principles needs to be balanced by due respect for the laws of physical existence. Every day we spend on earth is of untold value. Each day we must express some vital contribution toward

Christ, the Redeemer

Holy Wednesday

Suggested Bible reading: Matthew 24:1 20 26:16

Video: The Holy Wednesday Experience
bioReverend Hal Lingerman

Each day of Holy Week, Jesus gave final instructions summarizing His teachings upon how every person might achieve their innate goals. He laid much emphasis on preparation, explaining that when He next returns He will be in His Higher body. Those who love Him and believe in His Way will be waiting for Him, though centuries may have passed since they last received Him. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. (Matthew 24:42).

In the great plan for humankind on earth, it was intended that life on this globe would evolve slowly but guidedly toward God's Intention. As sometimes happens when the agent of free will enters a creation, new creative forces are released which upset or delay the original design. This occurred on our earth and accounts for most of the malefic forces we find abounding in disease, famine, insanity and war. Our lives are battlefields in which pride and humility continue to fight for the upper hand until we willingly and resolutely make it a field for Christ's sowing.

Each day, and especially prior to ordeals, Christians should remember to align themselves to the wavelengths of Christ, for in them is purifying power. As we strive to move Christward, He becomes our matrix, the creative pattern, for our self-conquest. Through His exampleship we learn reverence for God, humility of spirit and unselfishness of being. May every aspiring individual be wisely and guidedly motivated by Divine ensoulment.

The Last Supper, Pascal Dagnan-Bouveret

Maundy Thursday

Suggested Bible reading: Matthew 26: 17-46; Mark 14; Luke 22; John 13

Video: The Maundy Thursday Experience
bioReverend Hal Lingerman

On Maundy Thursday, Jesus and His disciples were reunited in the Upper Room in Jerusalem. The disciples began to ply Jesus with questions as to their development and their right to sit in honored places beside Him. Jesus placed Himself in the role of a server and washed His disciples' feet to humble them and remind them that One who is endowed with Light has always to serve. Jesus baptized the Twelve so they would be inwardly cleansed and purified in order to realize participation with the Christ and His mission. Then he initiated them into a new symbolical ceremony, the rite of Communion. A prophetic celebration of His impending crucifixion and the authority it would bestow through Him.

Esoterically, the strenuous trial Jesus faced was to be a contest with shadow forces that were attempting to take over the control of men. Realizing that Good always conquers evil, Jesus knew the outcome, though temporarily tragic, would finally result in spiritual supremacy. His body would be broken (symbolized by bread) and His blood would flow (wine of the New Testament) in order that the earth would be reclaimed by the Spirit of Love. His surrendered

life would impregnate the total globe with a new upsurging impetus toward the Light.

Jesus told His disciples, Yet a little while, and the world sees me no more; but ye see me; because I live, ye shall live also. Jesus prayed to the Father for strength to fulfill His will: I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do.

Mary and John at the Cross, James Tissot

Good Friday

Suggested Bible reading: Matthew 26:47 to 27:61; Mark 15; Luke 23; John 18, 19

Video: The Good Friday Experience
bioReverend Hal Lingerman

After midnight Judas returned with a band of soldiers who seized Jesus and led Him to the former high priest Annas, the serving high priest Caiaphas, Herod, the ruler of Galilee, and to Pilate for final judgment. Evil motives caused Jesus to be chosen for crucifixion in place of Barabbas, a professed murderer. At nine o'clock in the morning the preparatory torture was over and Jesus was made a victim of the earth 's evil. At three o' clock in the afternoon Jesus realized, It is finished. Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathaea wrapped His body tenderly in fragrant linen and placed it in the sepulcher. The three Marys remained outside the tomb all night: faithful, patient and trustful to the last.

The example of Jesus on this day holds enough lessons to last lifetimes. He faced the government's exasperation, the religion's persecution and His disciples' desertion. Yet His patience and courage remained invincible. The calamitous events of this day brought Him to the apex of human endurance.

Because Jesus was true to God in the most trying of ordeals, we receive an impetus to accept the trials and testings of our own lives. Jesus explained that those who love Him shall be attuned to His Living Presence. He will be aware of them and will manifest Himself to them. As we take part in Communion this night, we offer our gifts to our Lord and renew our pledges of dedication.

The Christ, Heinrich Hoffman

Holy Saturday

Suggested Bible reading: Matthew 27:62-66; Luke 23:56

Video: The Holy Saturday Experience
bioReverend Hal Lingerman

The eve of Easter is the day of holy vigil that we give to reverent communion with all that is holy.

The gospels tell us little regarding Saturday. Many of those who had known Jesus hid themselves in fear of persecution at the hands of His assassins. Yet, to the sincere, Saturday was a day of reflection, of trying to recollect and fit together the prophecies that Christ had revealed concerning Dewey this event. They had poorly listened to his prophecies and now regretted their inattention. Slowly a new understanding of their larger discipleship germinated within them.

Jesus always recognized that His battle was not with Rome, nor even with the Sanhedrin, but with the principalities and powers of darkness that had access to the minds of men. As His body was reclaimed, Christ's soul was shed as Light radiations throughout the whole planet. On His upward ascent into Light during Holy Saturday, He blessed every dimension inherent with life. Men, Angels, Masters, Lords, and Logi rejoiced in the vaster powers which Hierarchs now conferred on Jesus, Christed Lord of the earth.

The attainment of ascension—transcending death—endowed Him with full powers of Christhood. Jesus' prophesy of His passing this most difficult test is reflected in Luke 13:32: And on the third day I shall be perfected.

Be Not Afraid, Angela Johnson

Resurrection Sunday

Suggested Bible reading: Matthew 28; Luke 24:17-53; John 20:15-17

Video: Learning to Wield the Christos in Today's World (The story of Easter)
bioReverend Blake Isaac

Through the conferring of powers which the Crucifixion Sacrifice made possible, Jesus, the Radiant Christ, realized, "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth." The initiatory bestowal gave Jesus sole custodianship of the spiritualizing of this earth's humanity.

Resurrection bestowed on Jesus the authority to invest in worthy individuals, participation in the World Task of Christ. This World Work involves a quickening, transforming and raising of life's experience on this planet.

Since Christ, the destiny of men is certain. As prodigal sons they may linger in worldliness as long as they desire, but no more can their souls be lost, for at the heart of all creation lies the Christ Urge of return.

Jesus foretold, "I go my way to him that sent me." His returns are no longer physical, but His living Vibrancy, His Governing Influence becomes ever more distinguishable with man's purified sensibilities. His Presence is here at the nadir of creation even as It moves to the very meridian of fulfillment—And He shall reign. And of His kingdom there shall be no end.

Christ shining through each of our highest efforts.

Video: From Christ's Transcendence to Ours
bioFlower A. Newhouse, From Christ's Transcendence to Ours

On this glorious day, lift up before the attention of the Hierarchy all religions of the world in order that peoples of all faiths may be inwardly united in trust and mutual respect. In the last remembrance period of your day recall the gathering forces of Eastertide. With stillness, with veneration and with faith, help these special Eastertide currents to bridge their assistance to humanity. Contemplate the outpouring of the Mysteries of the Godhead-the boundless glories which the Eternal channels. With reverence and with positive trust you will pray: Let the Eastertide come! Let lis currents heal the divisions and heartaches of nations and people' LeI men be ready to walk the upward path of the mountain of their own mastership!

Video: The Three Mary's
Linda Wood, Janet McGurk and Miara Wiltshire

Inspiration for Lent and Easter

Through Lent to Resurrection
Gleanings from Rev. Flower A. Newhouse on the subject of Lenten preparation for Easter and its purpose and power.

The Drama of Incarnation
Flower A. Newhouse interprets the greatest drama the world has ever witnessed, when our Lord became Christ.

Wellsprings of the Holy Quest
In The Inner Side of Easter, the Wise One's describe the inner side of Lent and the high event of Easter.

Christ Our Lord Most Holy
A recorded lecture by Rev. Flower A. Newhouse from Easter Retreat, 1983.

Christ's Past Present and Future Influence upon Us
A recorded lecture by Rev. Flower A. Newhouse from Easter Retreat, 1973.

Easter's Meaning for Us
A recorded lecture by Rev. Flower A. Newhouse from Easter Retreat, 1966.