A human being is a part of the whole – called by us Universe – a part limited in time and space. We experience our thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of our consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires, and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant. Hebrews 12:22–24a, NIV
Lord our God, we thank you that you have redeemed us and that we may feel united with your holy ones, those in heaven and those on earth who are gathered around Jesus Christ, a people growing in number and strength from year to year. We thank you that we too belong to them, and we ask you to keep our hearts aware of this unity so that we may be joyful, redeemed people who find ever greater deliverance, full of praise and thanks, full of certainty and joy. Grant this to us, for we are your people, born out of your power as Savior and gathered for the sake of your kingdom. Guard your gifts and your powers within us. Continue your redemption of the whole world until joy floods through our whole being and we can praise you for the life you have already given us here on earth. Amen.