The Urantia Book Fellowship

You Are The Light of The World:
Urantia Book Insights for Spiritual Growth

by Dr. Meredith J. Sprunger
"You are the light of the world." Matt. 5:14, U. B., p. 1570


Dr. George Gallup, in a talk at Princeton Theological Seminary last year, said:  "Americans today appear to be on a spiritual quest of major proportions; the final two decades of this century could, in fact, represent a unique chapter in the history of religion in the United States." 

We are living in an exciting period of history.  Kenneth Boulding, in his book, The Meaning of the Twentieth Century, Alvin Toffler, in The Third Wave, and numerous other philosophers of history are pointing out that we are living in one of the major transitional periods in the history of man.  Daniel Yankelovich in his exhaustive sociological study, New Rules, says that we are marching to a new beat; we cannot turn back the clock; we are entering a new age of society.  He found that people are fed up with the selfish, individualistic preoccupations of the 1970's, and hunger for commitment to truth and service.  Marilyn Ferguson, in The Aquarian Conspiracy, documents the many facets of this personal and social transformation of consciousness in the 1980's.

We should gear our ministry to the changing nature of our contemporary culture.  John Naisbitt in Megatrends, observes that we are changing from an industrial society, to an information society.  High technology is emancipating us from dependency on neighbors and work groups; therefore, people are hungry for the human touch.  Small in-groups become increasingly important to our identities and well being. The decentralization trend in Western Civilization is lessening the importance of hierarchies and power structures, and increasing the significance of local communities and networks.  Society will be rebuilt from the bottom up.  We must rely less on central-institutional help and guidance and develop more local direction and individual initiative.  The small units of society which will rebuild our culture are close-knit, dedicated, participatory groups governed by a central purpose.

A couple of years ago, Dr. Harvey Cox of the Harvard Divinity School, and his students, made a study of what young people are searching for, in spiritual guidance.  They found four basic things:

  • They are looking for friendship, fellowship, and love.
  • They are looking for ways to find and experience God in a first hand, personal way.  They are not interested in second hand religion.
  • They are looking for guidance more vital and relevant than the old religious cliches.  They want a larger and deeper vision of God and Reality.
  • They are looking for a natural, simple, fresh faith which is a living force, rather than a ritualistic form.

All of these new trends in our society are tailor-made for the message of The Urantia Book, and the small groups in which it must be nourished.  Our planetary supervisors have done a marvelous job in preparing our planet for the fifth epochal revelation.  They now look to us to begin this ministry in a systematic and serious way.  The personal contact of individuals and the organizing of small study groups is the heart of the Urantia movement, and the key to rebuilding our society and the world.  Sometimes, we are tempted to think that such grass-roots ministry is not important.  But, I would remind you that it was exactly this kind of ministry which a few, uneducated disciples of Jesus initiated, and the Book of Acts describes them as "These men who have turned the world upside down!"  These humble beginnings transformed Western Civilization.

Jesus tells us, "You are the light of the world."  There are a great many people in our contemporary society who do not know who they are.  In their identity crisis, they are depressed by the Freudian view that human nature is dominated by irrational and unconscious urges.  When they turn to spiritual help, all too often, they are discouraged by the Pauline view, that human nature as inherently sinful, and prone to all evil.  Men and women today are hungering for the unadulterated message of Jesus, to discover who they really are; that they are sons and daughters of God -- that human nature is essentially good -- that they have great worth and potential, and are meant to be co-workers with God.  This is the good news of the gospel, and all of the psychological crape-hangers of gloom cannot overcome it.  In the teachings of The Urantia Book we have the greatest message to share with humankind that our planet has received in the last 2,000 years.  We are the light of the world; those who have been called to share this great message with our fellowman.  This is the most important imperative of the Urantia movement.

While outreach ministry is of great importance, I should like to close with something of even greater significance.  If you are not called to this outreach ministry, or fail to respond to the Spirit's leading, there are others who will hear this call and carry the good news of The Urantia Book to the farthest corners of the earth.  But, there is another call which no one can respond to except yourself.  This is the Father's loving appeal that you dedicate yourself to your own spiritual growth.

Nothing in the world is more important in your life than your active co-operation in achieving the Spirit's mastery of your mind and body; your attitudes and appetites, your emotions and actions.  This is not accomplished by simply willing it; it demands active participation.  The initial stages of growth usually require enduring suffering, transcending egocentric pride, or even social humiliation.  The rewards and joys of a Spirit controlled mind and a Spirit mastered body, however, far outweigh the birth pangs endured in evolving the soul.  The enlarged freedom and deepened inner peace of your liberated and growing soul bring the greatest joy and sense of fulfillment which sons and daughters of God can experience in life.  Not only have you actualized your authentic self, but you have a quality of being which is more real, and can accomplish greater service for your fellowmen and the Father's kingdom.  It is my prayer that each of us may grow in this life of the Spirit. For the life of the Spirit is the well spring and creative source of outreach ministry and service.

A service of
The Urantia Book Fellowship