Lesson 157 2021

Lesson 157 

Into His Presence would I enter now. 

1. This is a day of silence and of trust. ²It is a special time of promise in your calendar of days. ³It is a time Heaven has set apart to shine upon, and cast a timeless light upon this day, when echoes of eternity are heard. ⁴This day is holy, for it ushers in a new experience; a different kind of feeling and awareness. ⁵You have spent long days and nights in celebrating death. ⁶Today you learn to feel the joy of life. 

2. This is another crucial turning point in the curriculum. ²We add a new dimension now; a fresh experience that sheds a light on all that we have learned already, and prepares us for what we have yet to learn. ³It brings us to the door where learning ceases, and we catch a glimpse of what lies past the highest reaches it can possibly attain. ⁴It leaves us here an instant, and we go beyond it, sure of our direction and our only goal. 

There’s not much to say about this lesson. Up until now, the focus has been on learning and practicing what we are learning. Now, though, the lesson is not about learning, it is about the experience. We can share what we are learning, but we cannot share our experience. Each must have their own experience. Jesus is setting the stage, though, preparing us for the experience by telling us that this day is special, it is holy. He tells us this is another crucial turning point and we are adding a new dimension, a fresh experience. Clearly, he wants us to pay attention, and to take this very seriously. 

3. Today it will be given you to feel a touch of Heaven, though you will return to paths of learning. ²Yet you have come far enough along the way to alter time sufficiently to rise above its laws, and walk into eternity a while. ³This you will learn to do increasingly, as every lesson, faithfully rehearsed, brings you more swiftly to this holy place and leaves you, for a moment, to your Self. 

Jesus tells us that if we have been doing the lessons faithfully, we are far along enough that we can leave the world long enough to feel a touch of Heaven. We won’t stay there but we will have an experience and something of that experience comes with us when we return to our study. He also assures us that we will learn to do this increasingly so we don’t feel pressured to have a deeper experience than we are ready for. 

4. He will direct your practicing today, for what you ask for now is what He wills. ²And having joined your will with His this day, what you are asking must be given you. ³Nothing is needed but today’s idea to light your mind, and let it rest in still anticipation and in quiet joy, wherein you quickly leave the world behind. 

5. From this day forth, your ministry takes on a genuine devotion, and a glow that travels from your fingertips to those you touch, and blesses those you look upon. ²A vision reaches everyone you meet, and everyone you think of, or who thinks of you. ³For your experience today will so transform your mind that it becomes the touchstone for the holy Thoughts of God. 

Today, I felt the Holy Spirit’s guidance as I meditated on entering into His Presence. When I was tempted to follow a thought into a story, I was gently led back to stillness. He would bring my attention to the tension in my body to remind me that I am not here to do anything. I am here to wait for what is to happen. I know that regardless of how I feel about the success or failure of this meditation, something is happening, something remarkable. I know this because having done this before, I see how my ministry has taken on a genuine devotion. 

6. Your body will be sanctified today, its only purpose being now to bring the vision of what you experience this day to light the world. ²We cannot give experience like this directly. ³Yet it leaves a vision in our eyes which we can offer everyone, that he may come the sooner to the same experience in which the world is quietly forgot, and Heaven is remembered for a while. 

And this. Something happens that changes the way we experience each other and changes the silent messages that we give and are received. 

7. As this experience increases and all goals but this become of little worth, the world to which you will return becomes a little closer to the end of time; a little more like Heaven in its ways; a little nearer its deliverance. ²And you who bring it light will come to see the light more sure; the vision more distinct. ³The time will come when you will not return in the same form in which you now appear, for you will have no need of it. ⁴Yet now it has a purpose, and will serve it well. 

The more often we give ourselves this gift, the closer we come to Heaven and we will bring this light to those who are sent to us. Giving it, it becomes brighter in our own minds. Jesus tells us that the time will come when we will no longer need or want these bodies, but for now, we can use them for a good purpose.  

8. Today we will embark upon a course you have not dreamed of. ²But the Holy One, the Giver of the happy dreams of life, Translator of perception into truth, the holy Guide to Heaven given you, has dreamed for you this journey which you make and start today, with the experience this day holds out to you to be your own. 

This experience we are preparing to have is not part of our dream, but it is the Holy Spirit’s corrected version of our dream. I am filled with happy gratitude as I think about what this means for us all. 

9. Into Christ’s Presence will we enter now, serenely unaware of everything except His shining face and perfect Love. ²The vision of His face will stay with you, but there will be an instant which transcends all vision, even this, the holiest. ³This you will never teach, for you attained it not through learning. ⁴Yet the vision speaks of your rememberance of what you knew that instant, and will surely know again. 

(ACIM, W-157.1:1–9:4

These words seem vague but Jesus did tell us that the experience cannot be shared. He cannot tell us in words what this is like. We have to go there ourselves. Then we will remember. We knew this all along and had just buried under the weight of an imaginary world of pain and suffering. Today, let us offer our time and attention to the Holy Spirit so He can give us the gift of true memory.