Warm greetings to all our readers and students of The Urantia Book. The National Conference is fast approaching! From the 27th to the 30th of September, we will be gathering at the Green Hills Conference Centre at Stromlo in Canberra to discuss the intriguing theme: “Mind Over Matter, Spirit Over Mind.” Our Canberran team of mighty workers has been busy preparing a banquet of spiritual, philosophical, and scientific dishes for our holistic edification. If you’ve never been to a conference before, or haven’t attended one for a long time, why not give serious consideration to coming along. It truly is a delight to feast on the teachings of The Urantia Book in the company of fellow readers for a whole weekend. It’s also a wonderful way to make new friendships and renew old ones.
Of course, the board understands that not everyone is able to attend our conferences. Some will find the cost prohibitive; some may not be able to take time off work or from their studies; some will have major family commitments. For this reason, this year we are endeavouring to make the conference accessible on-line via a series of Zoom sessions, which will mean that the programme could be enjoyed from the comfort of your home. Please stay tuned as more information will be forthcoming closer to the date.
This winter has been one of the worst flu seasons that medical authorities have ever seen here in Australia. I’m not sure whether this is true in New Zealand as well. Anyhow, I think for the first time in my life I came down with the flu (influenza A) last month and it lasted for more than three weeks. My wife and two sons also picked it up. After two weeks of very little improvement I could sense that I was beginning to feel a bit depressed and somewhat anxious. After all, people were dying of this flu!! I remember one day feeling somewhat despondent and sorry for myself. So I began to pray to our Father and to Jesus. I remember suddenly becoming aware of passages in The Urantia Book which described how compassionate Jesus was towards the sick and ailing. Here are two that really warmed my heart: The first is the record of “the kingdom’s first hospital”.
At this infirmary, located a short distance to the south of the main tented city, they treated the sick in accordance with all known material methods as well as by the spiritual practices of prayer and faith encouragement. Jesus visited the sick of this encampment not less than three times a week and made personal contact with each sufferer. [Paper 148:2.1, page 1658.4]
The second was the unprecedented mass healing by Jesus of 683 men, women, and children at Bethsaida:
When the Master stepped out of the front entrance of Zebedee’s house, his eyes met an array of stricken and afflicted humanity. He gazed upon almost one thousand sick and ailing human beings; at least that was the number of persons gathered together before him. Not all present were afflicted; some had come assisting their loved ones in this effort to secure healing. [Paper 145:3.6, page 1632.5]
The sight of these afflicted mortals, men, women, and children, suffering in large measure as a result of the mistakes and misdeeds of his own trusted Sons of universe administration, peculiarly touched the human heart of Jesus and challenged the divine mercy of this benevolent Creator Son….Not since Cana had the supernatural or miraculous attended his teaching; still, this afflicted multitude touched his sympathetic heart and mightily appealed to his understanding affection. [Paper 145:3.7, page 1632.6]
Both accounts served to lift my spirits by reminding me that our Universal Father and Jesus our universe sovereign are compassionately aware of our afflictions and are attentive to our prayers for mercy and relief. So this winter, if you come down with a cold or the dreaded flu, do your best to look after yourself. Eat healthily, try to get plenty of rest, see your doctor, and most importantly, remember that God and his Son love you infinitely and desire to nurture you during your illness.
In closing, I would like to express my personal sorrow at the tragic news that came to my attention today concerning the untimely death of Mark Bloomfield, a tireless and courageous worker for the 5th epochal revelation. My sincere condolences go to his family and all those who knew him well.
Blessings to you all,