III Atonement and Miracles
- I am in charge of the process of Atonement, which I undertook to begin. When you offer a miracle to any of my brothers, you do it to yourself and me. The reason you come before me is that I do not need miracles for my own Atonement, but I stand at the end in case you fall temporarily. My part in the Atonement is the cancelling out of all errors that you could not otherwise correct. When you have been restored to the recognition of your original state, you naturally become part of the Atonement yourself. As you share my unwillingness to accept error in yourself and others, you must join the great crusade to correct it; listen to my voice, learn to undo error and act to correct it. The power to work miracles belongs to you. I will provide the opportunities to do them, but you must be ready and willing. Doing them will bring conviction in the ability because conviction comes through accomplishment. The ability is the potential, the achievement is its expression, and the Atonement, which is the natural profession of the children of God, is the purpose.
- “Heaven and earth shall pass away” means that they will not continue to exist as separate states. My word, which is the resurrection and the life, shall not pass away because life is eternal. You are the work of God, and His work is wholly loveable and wholly loving. This is how a man must think of himself in his heart, because this is what he is.
- The forgiven are the means of the Atonement. Being filled with spirit, they forgive in return. Those who are released must join in releasing their brothers, for this is the plan of the Atonement. Miracles are the way in which minds that serve the Holy Spirit unite with me for the salvation or release of all of God’s creations.
- I am the only one who can perform miracles indiscriminately, because I am the Atonement. You have a role in the Atonement which I will dictate to you. Ask me which miracles you should perform. This spares you needless effort because you will be acting under direct communication. The impersonal nature of the miracles is an essential ingredient because it enables me to direct its application, and under my guidance miracles lead to the highly personal experience of revelation. A guide does not control but he does direct, leaving it up to you to follow. “Lead us not into temptation” means “Recognize your errors and choose to abandon them by following my guidance.”
In section one of The Meaning of Miracles, we learned 50 principles of miracles. Section two of The Meaning of Miracles showed us how revelation, miracles, and time though different, correspond. We leaned that as precious as miracles seem to us, we are not to be awed by them, but to take them in stride, for miracles only correct what has been taken away from us, while revelation reacquaints us with God, Who alone deserves awe. Today, Jesus introduces us to the process of Atonement.
Because Jesus is in charge of Atonement, and we are one with Him, we offer miracles to our brothers. No longer are we content to go to our denominational churches and our Wednesday night Bible studies, banging on our tambourines, singing hymns, swaying back and forth to Christian rock thinking that because we are keeping ourselves free from sin, we are doing the work of Christ. Nope. When we accept Him, we accept Christ’s vision; we accept His charge. In this paragraph Jesus calls it the great crusade. We learn to undo error. We learn to correct it. We perform miracles because Jesus said we have the power, and we should. It is a prerequisite to becoming One with Christ. Think about it. What use are we if we do not do His work and with Him in His Charge?
To join with Christ then is to be prepared, to be ready, to be willing. We prepare ourselves by understanding the meaning of miracles. Once we thought miracles were astounding; now we know that miracles simply return to our awareness what we thought was lost or hidden from us. We accept who and what we are, and when we do that, we accept our holiness. We accept our well-being. We accept wholeness and unity. We accept our Sonship with God and our Brotherhood with Christ. When we do that, we understand what a miracle is and why it is important to learn how to extend them to all whom Jesus sends to us.
With the power to perform miracles, we express the gifts of God’s mercy and love through our humanity. We would never dream of hoarding God’s gifts for ourselves or for a select few. This then is the Atonement – we know we have God’s gifts only to share and to share with all, for Atonement is one for all and all for one. This is our natural profession, our only real function, as the offspring of God. This is correction of the original error – God is Love. He is not to be feared or groveled before. We can trust always and under every circumstance in His everlasting love, devotion, and goodwill toward His Creation.
When we pray the Lord’s prayer we recite: God’s Will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Jesus taught us to pray this prayer to awaken us from the stupor of humanity. It is His Vision, His charge, the great campaign to awaken us from our journey through separation, to deliver us from despair, disease, and death. Heaven and earth become one. The separation between the two passes away. God’s Will on earth is God’s Will in Heaven in oneness and unity – not the separated state we experience in the nightmare world.
Jesus tells us today that the Word of God is the resurrection and the life. Notice that the Word of God, the Expression of God is not the Holy Bible or any other religious text that is in existence today. Take note that the Word of God is not the crucifixion of Christ. It is not in the blood that Jesus shed or the humiliation and suffering that He went through in His human life. The Word of God is resurrection and life. The Expression of God never dies, it is eternal. Jesus’s death does not save us – it is His resurrection which is everlasting and eternal. Please get this straight in your mind for when you pray to a God who demands blood and sacrifice, when you pray the “blood of Jesus” over this and that, you are praying to death, you are praying to suffering, you are praying to a god who is vulnerable, bleeding, and dying. Knock it off. For you are the Expression of God and I am the Expression of God even as Christ is an Expression of God. We are the work of God, Jesus tells us. We must think of ourselves, not as humans prone to sin and living in decaying bodies doomed to die, but as the Creation of a perfect God, made whole, made perfect, sinless, and everlasting. This is the message of Christ. This is Atonement. This is the miracle.
When we are forgiven we forgive – this is how Atonement works. Those who are released from fear are called to release their brothers. When we stand with Christ, we share His message of forgiveness. Those who are lost are welcomed back to the fold. We forgive and we keep forgiving. We share the shift in consciousness that reminds us of who and what we really are – Sons of God, made perfect and holy and eternal. Standing with Christ, we become the resurrection and the life. Standing against Christ we remain trapped in our humanity, in the fallen nature of the world, the chaotic, dog-eat-dog nightmare of creation separated from God.
Jesus is the Atonement. He and the Atonement are one. We recognize Jesus as our Guide. He assigns us where to go and what do and who and what to offer the miracle, because He is the only One Who knows who is ready and who is not. He is the only One Who hears the prayers and responds to the cries of those who have seen their humanity for what it is and want something different. When we listen to His direction, we do not have to plead the blood of Jesus over people, groveling before God and asking Him to please save our loved ones. As we learn to trust in the process of Atonement, we know that our loved ones are no more special than anybody else! We know that Jesus will send us where we are needed and not necessarily where we thought we would go.
When Jesus guided me to stop at the house of an old friend, I was not at all certain that I was hearing the right voice. We had had a falling out over a decade ago. In my head, my life and her life had no good reason to ever join again. Our former friendship though holy on some levels, had also been fraught with unholiness. We thought that being a “good” friend meant that we lied for each other, that being a best pal meant taking each other’s sides against others. Drawing each other into unnecessary dramas and traumas, we lost respect for one another and eventually we went our separate ways, each of us thinking we were the ones “wronged.” I was content to let it stand like that and evidently she was as well. Then Jesus intervened and told me to go to her. “Ah Lord that can’t be you,” I remember thinking. I called someone I trusted and asked him if it could be Jesus telling me to do such a thing. “Yes,” was the reply.
I did not know she was asking Jesus for a miracle. There was no way for me to know that the Course I was studying held the miracle she was seeking. But Jesus knew. And He directed me there. I was sorely tempted not to listen. What if she attacked me and called me names? What if she were bitter and blamed me for things I could no longer remember doing? What if she wanted to get into one of those wearying “I said-you said,” debates? Instead of going with my mistaken thinking, I followed the guidance of Jesus and I am certainly happy that I did. Our broken friendship was healed and made new, and Jesus knew that this was a miracle we both needed!
We will stop at this paragraph today and pick up where we left off tomorrow, finishing Chapter 1: III Atonement and Miracles. Before we go, let us pray this prayer together, clearing the altar of our minds and asking the Lord to illuminate all that is true and removing all that is not.
Our Father our devotion belongs to You. We stand with Christ and commit our human lives to the Great Cause of Atonement. We ask that our hearts and minds are open to truth, understanding, and divine service. We ask that our minds hold nothing but forgiving thoughts that reflect Your love. Let us extend Your gifts of mercy to our holy charges, withholding no good thing from those who ask of You. Keep us from going our own way and following corrupt paths. All of our awe is reserved for You, Father. In the name of Jesus with Whom we are one. Amen.
 A Course in Miracles. Chapter 1: III Atonement and miracles. 1-4. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). pp. 8-9.
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