Sunday, January 28, 2007

Swedenborg and the 2nd coming

Emanuel Swedenborg wrote "Since the Lord cannot show Himself in person, as has just been demonstrated, and yet He predicted that He would come and found a new church, which is the New Jerusalem, it follows that He will do this by means of a man, who can not only receive intellectually the doctrines of this church, but also publish them in print. I bear true witness that the Lord has shown Himself in the presence of me, His servant, and sent me to perform this function."

Most of the time I feel uncomfortable with this assertion. I go through a thought process to, again, convince myself that the second coming, the Writings and Swedenborg all make sense, are believable, and indeed contain advice necessary for my salvation. I end up concluding that the amazing internal consistency, the experiential proof of its correctness, and about thirty years of my use of the teachings, all confirm the good feeling I have about the them and about the reality of Swedenborg’s experience.

Then my thought naturally proceeds to consider how I can share these teachings with others. And, again, I go through a thought process that takes me from embarrassment and defensiveness to an urgency to get the message out for the sake of my neighbor, my country and even the planet! I come to the realization that it is not primarily the truth of the teachings, and thus the veracity of Swedenborg, that I am to share, but, first and foremost, my delight in those teachings.

I have noticed again and again that I am spiritual and emotionally energized when the beauty and effectiveness of the New Church teachings are combined with an opportunity to share them. It may be a chance meeting on an airplane, in an office, when a person shows an interest. It may be when I put myself before people, as at the Village Fair or at some breakfast forum. It may be when the person has come to church, thus manifesting their interest rather boldly. Of course each of these settings is different, and I must adapt. But in every case, all the Lord wants me to do to express love for my neighbor is share my delight in what He has given me. The stranger, no matter what their interest, will be served well, fed spiritual truth by means of my delight.

I am frustrated that more people don’t have and use the wonderful teachings I am often amazed I have available. But my trust in the Lord makes it possible to go through the processes of thought that bring me again to the affirmative attitude that the Lord is taking care of His church. He asks me to love my neighbor by, in this case, sharing the truth. So long as I am caring enough to brighten someone’s day, ease their burden, or relieve their confusion while showing them my delight in the truth I have, I am fulfilling the Lord’s goal of accomplishing His second coming.

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Secret Rapture said...
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