Living the Scriptures You Love
Dr. June Avis Bro
Q. What present printed version of the Bible gives the nearest to the true meaning…?
A. The nearest true version for the entity is that ye apply of whatever version ye read, in your life. It isn't that ye learn from anyone. Ye only may have the direction. The learning, the teaching is within self. (2072-14)
I have a friend who goes to Buddhist Scriptures for his inspiration and direction in life. Another friend gets her divine leading from Confucius. I get the guidance I need for my spiritual growth from studying the Bible. This was true of Edgar Cayce too. The truth is that whatever course we are on is the right one.
Sometimes it seems that the spiritual path we have chosen has lost its savor. The words of another faith touch us just where our problems and our questions lie. To skip from religion to religion may fascinate us at the moment, but in the end, the new religion will also lose its flavor if we haven't taken its core teachings very seriously and worked hard with them to solve our problems and inspire us to ever higher states of consciousness.
As I see it, no matter what religion we have chosen as right and challenging to our spiritual growth, it is our job to read their Scriptures and to go ever deeper into their meaning for our lives: taking them into our hearts, living the precepts as best we can and then letting our lights shine. It is a matter of living constantly with the Scripture passages that we treasure, taking seriously those words of hope that give us peace of mind and the courage to face each day. It is a matter of taking on the disciplines and doing them daily even though sometimes we feel that it requires too much.
Edgar Cayce grew up in a small Kentucky town at a time when the church was the center of everyone's lives. He took the various church responsibilities very seriously and worked them all from janitor to teaching children's Sunday-school classes, to working with the youth and adult groups. He loved it all.
When Harmon (my husband) and I arrived in Virginia Beach in 1943, Edgar was teaching an adult Sunday school class at the Presbyterian Church. Harmon and I never missed a Sunday. When the minister who invited him to teach moved on, the church didn't want him to teach there anymore. Edgar was heartbroken.
In one of Edgar's own readings, he was told that he had been a Jew-Lucius, the bishop of the new churches that sprang up after Jesus' death. He lived in Laodicea, where I was told in my reading that I had worked to save the struggling new church by getting them to sing the Psalms of David. (It's interesting that Harmon, my husband in this life, was Edgar's son in that same incarnation.)
After the church stopped his Sunday school classes, Edgar found another way to share his faith. He had a Bible study class every Tuesday night at the Association (A.R.E.) headquarters, and he had a short preparation for his afternoon session of giving readings by calling all the staff into his office at 2:00 p.m., for Bible reading and prayers. It was obvious to me that Edgar's love of God and Jesus was foremost in his spiritual journey. He told us that he believed Jesus to be the guiding source of his readings. He talked about Jesus as though he was a very dear friend or family member.
At age 23, my spiritual position was not yet clearly formed. I had grown up in the Christian faith and had always loved the church. My experiences in Sunday school, church picnics, and church family gatherings were a large part of my life. Seeing that Edgar's faith in God was strong helped me to accept his strangely biblical gifts. I did not experience Edgar as weird, but as someone who loved God, Jesus, the Bible, prayer, and helping people wherever he could. I experienced him as a man of God, one who really tried to live his faith. I saw how much he missed his sons, who were both serving in the military during World War II. He died without ever seeing them again. I saw how he handled losing his Presbyterian class. I heard his pain of not finding the oil he was looking for in Texas, of losing the hospital and university which were his life-long dreams, of almost losing Gertrude to tuberculosis, of losing his baby son before he got to know him, and the list of failures and losses goes on and on.
But with the help of prayer, his readings, his wife, his secretary, deep friends like David Kahn and the first study group, he always bounced back. We can learn as much from Edgar Cayce's scripture and faith-filled life as we can from the legacy of his readings.
Excerpt from June Bro's "The Art of Living" from the Oct-Dec 2015 issue of Venture Inward magazine available to A.R.E. members at Edgarcayce.org/members.
Dr. June Avis Bro found her life deeply affected by working daily with Edgar Cayce when she and her husband, Harmon, came to Virginia Beach in 1943. She has a graduate ministerial degree from Andover-Newton Theological School, near Boston, and a doctorate from Chicago Theological Seminary. In addition to teaching while raising five children, she has been a research assistant at Harvard, lectured and held workshops in many cities, led overseas tours to the Near East and China, and served as pastor. A concert pianist, she draws on her background in the arts to illuminate myths, symbols, and dreams. Her column for A.R.E.'s Venture Inward magazine, "The Art of Living," is based on her life reading given by Mr. Cayce in 1944. She wrote the foreword to the re-released book A Seer Out of Season written by Harmon Bro.
Join her every Tuesday morning from 10:30 until 11:30 a.m. for an informal "Chat" at the global headquarters of Edgar Cayce's A.R.E. in Virginia Beach. Visit EdgarCayce.org/VaBeach for all upcoming events.