by Rev. Rob Banaszak, Pastor, ISD-DC
I know some of you who work closely with me may read that last sentence and think I was calling myself “ditzy…” And, well, perhaps you wouldn’t be wrong. But if our energy-soaring Easter Week experiences have made me ditzy AND dizzy, then so be it!
Actually, I think all of March was magically dizzying. Or dizzyingly magical! Our second Spirit Fest on March 10 was even more successful than our first in November, with our volunteer healing, reading and massage service providers logging in over 20% more sessions. Then came the “sparkly” Angelic Heartlink workshop presented by our good friend David Gleekel the following day after service, and our Vernal Vibrations Spring Festival that consisted of our powerful Spring Equinox Ritual on March 19, and our field trip to the Washington National Cathedral for the awesome Equinox Drum Circle at March 20. We celebrated Palm Sunday with our special, beautiful Service of the Roses on March 25. We brought our already-moving Service of the Shadows Service to an amazing NEW LIFE with the live musical and sound stylings of vocalist Lisa Schwanger, pianist Rev. Theresa Del Grippo, and Gong Maven Rosemary Peters. Both our English and our Spanish Easter Services were inspiring celebrations of the uplifting Renewal we have been awaiting and preparing for. And it has all been so much FUN!
For my Easter Sunday homily I read the following passage from The Last Battle, which is the final book in The Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis:
It is hard to explain how this sunlit land was different from the old Narnia as it would be to tell you how the fruits of that country taste. Perhaps you will get some idea of it if you think like this.You may have been in a room in which there was a window that looked out on a lovely bay of the sea or a green valley that wound away among mountains. And in the wall of that room opposite to the window there may have been a looking-glass. And as you turned away from the window you suddenly caught sight of that sea or that valley, all over again, in the looking- glass. And the sea in the mirror, or the valley in the mirror, were in one sense just the same as the real ones: yet at the same time they were somehow different-deeper, more wonderful, more like places in a story: in a story you have never heard but very much want to know. The difference between the old Narnia was like that. The new one was a deeper country: every rock and flower and blade of grass looked as if it meant more. I can’t describe it any better than that: if you ever get there you will know what I mean.
It was the Unicorn who summed up what everyone was feeling. He stamped his right forehoof on the ground and neighed, and then cried:
“I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now. The reason why we loved the old Narnia is that it sometimes looked a little like this. Bree-hee-hee! Come further up, come further in!”
I read this passage when I was very young, and yet, even then, I felt like I had a full grasp on this “truer” Narnia that C.S. Lewis described; that his characters were experiencing. I could see in my minds eye the deepening vividness of the scenes and the expanding brightness of the colors. I “got it.”
I felt especially blessed that I discovered this passage again, and that I had the opportunity to share it with our Community. And it wasn’t until I was actually reading it from the podium that I understood why I really “found” it again. And that the reason I “got” it so very long ago was because I “remembered” the very feeling the passage described — in my own life NOW. Deeper Narnia. Truer Narnia. More vivid. More real. More beautiful.
Now, at the Institute for Spiritual Development, – Washington, D.C., we are celebrating the Resurrection of the Wayshower and our Brother Jesus…and revealing our New Life as a luminous Spiritual Community of Adventurous Souls. Together, we are claiming our birthright of joy, enlightenment, love and peace, as we share our gifts with each other and our world to manifest even more magic. This is Our Narnia! Deeper than we imagined, truer than we thought, more vivid than we expected, and more real than we conceived.
“I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now.”
Yup. I may be dizzy, ditzy or even downright daffy. But Narnia feels pretty awesome right now.
My Deeper Love and my Truer Gratitude —
–Rev Rob Banaszak
Pastor, Institute for Spiritual Development