I hope all of you had a very Happy Thanksgiving, filled with friends, family, and gratitude for the many blessings of life. Believe it or not, we now turn our attention to the season of Advent beginning with our first worship of this season this Sunday!
In light of this, I have been doing a lot of thinking about the Coming of the Lord - into the world overall, and the need for a coming of the Lord into each of our
personal worlds as well.
Here are two passages from the Teachings for the New Church (penned by Emanuel Swedenborg) which speak to this need -
shared in the hope that it inspires a lifting up of your mind and heart in this special time of year to the "reason for the season" - the reason the Lord came into the world (for all of humanity...and for you!)
Love and Peace in this Season of Light,
All the churches that existed before the Lord's coming were symbolic churches. They could see divine truths only in shadow. After the Lord's coming into the world a church was instituted by Him that saw divine truths - or rather was able to see divine truths - in full light. The difference between these churches is like the difference between evening and morning. In fact, in the Word the state of the church before the Lord's coming is called "evening" and the state of the church after
his coming is called "morning. "
Before his coming into the world the Lord was of course present with people in the church, but only indirectly through angels who represented him. Since his coming He is now directly present with people in the church.
…After the Lord came into the world those symbolic
representations disappeared. The inner reason for this is that through the Divine human form the Lord added on in the world, He enlightens not only our inner spiritual self but also our outer physical self. If both of these are not enlightened at the same time, we are in shadow, but when they are both enlightened at once we are in daylight.
If just our inner self is enlightened but not our outer
self, or if just our outer self is enlightened but not our inner self, we are like people who are asleep and dreaming; soon after they wake up they remember their dream and make various false inferences based on it. We are also like sleepwalkers who think the things they see are in broad daylight.
The difference between the state of the church before the Lord's coming and after it is like one person
reading in moonlight and starlight and another person reading in sunlight. Obviously, the eye makes mistakes in that first type of light, a mere white light, but it does not make mistakes in the other type of light, which includes the colors of flame. (TC 109)
The Lord is constantly present with every human being, the evil as well as the good. No one
would be alive if the Lord were not present. Only when we let him in, however - that is, believe in him and do what he commands - does he come in.
The Lord's constant presence is what makes us rational, and what gives us the capacity to become spiritual. The light that emanates from the Lord as the sun of the spiritual world is what has this effect. We receive this light in our intellect; this light
is the truth, and the truth is the source of our rationality.
When we add heat to this light, that is, when we add love to this truth, then the Lord comes in to us. The heat in question emanates from the same sun in the spiritual world; it takes the form of love for God and for our neighbor.
in which the Lord is merely present with us, enlightening our intellect, is like the presence of the sun's light in the world. Unless heat is added to this light, everything on earth remains desolate. When, however, the Lord actually comes in to us, it is like the heat that comes into everything in the spring. Since heat and light work together at that time of year, the ground becomes workable, and the seeds sprout and grow up to bear fruit. (This also illustrates the parallel between the
spiritual circumstances that affect our spirits and the earthly circumstances that affect our bodies.). (TC 774)