It is my pleasure to greet the delegates, alternates, councilors, and all the good Urantia friends who are privileged to attend the second Triennial Delegate Assembly. Three years ago, on August 20, 1964, we held the first meeting of the Assembly. That was an historical occasion. This is note the less auspicious and I hope that we have grown in grace and wisdom these past three years.
We know we are amateurs and we all feel very inadequate for the task of propagandizing the revelation of God and his universe which has been given to us in the Urantia Book. No doubt the apostles of Jesus felt inadequate to go forth into the world preaching the kingdom of God as Jesus had bidden them to do. But they went out and turned the whole world upside down. Two thousand years later we are still quoting them. Like the apostles, we have been called to a great work. We have been called to offer a new light to a distracted world. We are the salt of the Urantia revelation, the first light to illuminate the path of deliverance from the chaos, confusion, and darkness of the present planetary dilemma.
Few of us realize the grand and solemn significance of the times in which we are living. Far-reaching and lasting changes are taking place in human society. National, racial, social, economic, and spiritual upheavals are global in extent. The angels of the churches are standing , as it were, at attention while the seraphim of progress marshal their reserves for the impending attack upon the world stalemate of international confusion and spiritual lethargy.
Never lose sight of the fact that the supreme spiritual purpose of the Michael bestowal on urantia was to enhance the revelation of God. But to us, of greater import, is that he also came to reveal man to God. Through the scriptures we have been taught that he came here to reveal God to man, but no until the Urantia Book was given to us was I consciously aware that he dame also to reveal man to God. since Jesus is truly human as well as truly divine, it seems to me it is tremendously important and very comforting to know that he is in a way a revelation of man as well as a revelation of God.
You will recall that Immanuel, in imparting his bestowal counsel to Michael, said: "Equally with this ministry of new revelation and augmented interpretation of the Paradise Father to the human and superhuman type of mind, you will also so function as to make a new revelation of man to God. Exhibit in your one short life in the flesh, as it has never before been seen in all Nebadon, the transcendent possibilities attainable by a God-knowing human during the short career of mortal existence."
We see in Jesus what man was meant to be. We see the divine possibilities of the human nature we bear. What we see today in our fellowmen makes us very solemn, but some wise man once said: "Man is rising, slowly with many setbacks. He is an unfinished product, slowly growing in stature, for he is born for eternity."
Jesus knew the dark depths that there are in men. But it is just as certain that he knew the divine heights to which man can rise. He saw the glory that is man, as well as the low sad aspects of human nature when it is spoiled. To the very end, he kept his hope and his faith that God and man belonged together.
"In his matchless life Jesus never failed to reveal God to man. But in the final episodes of his mortal career and in his subsequent death, he made a new and touching revelation of man to God." (p 2000.4 -- Before Pilate)
"While the Father in heaven loves us no more because of this bestowal of Michael, all other celestial intelligences do. And this is because Jesus not only made a revelation of God to man, but he likewise made a new revelation of man to God and to the celestial intelligences of the universe of universes." (p 2003.1 - Paper 186)
The amazing fact of Jesus' gospel, as I see it, is that truth and light and love and the reality of God can break through the life of a person who was genuinely and truly a human person. Both God and man were here in him. Love of the divinest order was revealed in him, and in him the kingdom of God came into reality on earth as it is in heaven. Seeing him we see what God is like. The thing we primarily need is an enlarged capacity of appreciation of the range and quality of Jesus' personality. We need to really see him. Labored explanations of the miraculous element in the story of his life have bulked so large that they have often obscured the real life. We have largely missed, I think, the glory and wonder of his life among us and have been too absorbed in the stories about him and about his work to feel the thrill and the power of his revelation.
The essential aspect of a God who would be adequate for our human needs could be revealed only through a person. The mathematical order can be revealed through atoms. Beauty can be revealed through rainbows and sunsets. The moral order can be revealed through the sifting and judgment of history. But we want to feel the warmth and tenderness of a divine heart. We want someone who is with us in our agonies and our losses, in our struggles and frustrations, in our aspirations and our hopes. We want a Father-God who cares and who loves with a love that never lets go. Such a God Jesus has revealed.
Jesus went about this world kindling faith, calming life, eliminating fear, quieting fevers, both in minds and bodies, bringing peace and order into disordered lives, heavy-laden souls, and troubled hearts. He possessed the master secret of serenity. How we need this calming hand in the midst of our rush and hurry, our problems, and our worries!
"Be not conformed," Paul said, which means do not get set, do not go static, do not settle down to fixed habitual forms. Have an instinct for what is vital. Be continually transformed by a constant fresh renewing of your mind. To me, religion is a series of new beginnings--new hope, new faith, new love, new insight, new service, new opportunities. "Not as though I had attained, or were already perfect, but I follow after," cried Paul as he pressed towards still another open door of faith and service. We can accept the future with bright hope, if we will accept the primal faith that life has a genuine and gracious meaning, and the world has at its heart a purpose of good.
We can believe that there is a sphere for us, and a discipline, and a place in the Father's universal purpose. Ours is a call for a religion abreast of the enlarging discoveries of truth, adapted to the growing mind of man, and the expanding life of the world; that is the religion, the revelation, which the Urantia Book brings to us.
I have heretofore reminded you that the celestial supervisors of Urantia re mobilizing small groups of spirit-led men and women throughout the world--among all nations--and these truth battalions, these selectmen, are concerned today with scores of vital enterprises which have to do with the rehabilitation of the world following the ending of the present distressing conflicts.
And of all the emergency corps of mortal selectmen on Urantia, none is charged with a more solemn obligation than our group. We have been called to the great work of taking the first step in offering to mortal man anew light, a new revelation, of the love of God. The easy jog-trot religion of former days no longer suffices to meet the challenges of today. Following Jesus' way of life calls for an act of complete commitment, a dedicated intention, a resolute purpose, a trumpet call to a life that will not compromise.
God has provided the vision and the call. The answer must be ours. There are steps we can take that will help us to meet this challenge:
First, we need to cultivate the power to envision our share in bettering the world.
Second, we need to believe that God can speak to us, that he can use us and our talents, and that he does call us to our particular place of service.
Third, we need to be willing to be used for the fulfillment of the vision.
Let us pray that we may all become valiant soldiers of the circles, whole-heartedly enlisted in the solid ranks of those mortals who shall go forth in the coming battle for truth against error under the unfaltering leadership of the mighty seraphim of progress.
A Service of
The Urantia Book Fellowship