18 Do good in Your good pleasure to Zion;
Build the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then You shall be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness,
With burnt offering and whole burnt offering;
Then they shall offer bulls on Your altar.
‘Zion’ means the church that is in the good of love.
‘Jerusalem’ means the church that is in the truths of doctrine
Therefore, ‘do good in Your good pleasure to Zion, build the walls of Jerusalem’ means to restore the church by leading it into the good of love and by instructing it in the truths of doctrine.
Worship then from the good of love is meant by ‘then You shall be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness and with whole burnt-offering.’
From Apocalypse Explained n.391:17
1 I was glad when they said to me,
”Let us go into the house of the LORD.”
2 Our feet have been standing
Within your gates, O Jerusalem!
3 Jerusalem is built
As a city that is compact together,
4 Where the tribes go up,
The tribes of the LORD,
To the Testimony of Israel,
To give thanks to the name of the LORD.
5 For thrones are set there for judgment,
The thrones of the house of David.
6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
”May they prosper who love you.
7 Peace be within your walls,
Tranquility within your palaces.”
From Apocalypse Explained n.365:35
‘Jerusalem’ means the church in relation to doctrine and worship.
‘Peace’ means everything of doctrine and worship, for when these are from a heavenly origin, that is, out of heaven from the Lord, then they are from peace and in peace.
And as those who are in that peace are said to be ‘tranquil,’ it is also said, ‘let them be tranquil that love thee,’ that is, that love the doctrine and worship of the church.
‘Peace be within your rampart, and tranquility within your palaces’ means in the natural ideas and delights, which are outside, or before the doctrine and protects it
The inner part of a person, with the things that are in it, which are spiritual truths and goods, is like a “palace” or house, since it is within the exterior.
‘For the sake of my brethren and companions’ means for the sake of those who are in goods and in truths from them.
‘The house of Jehovah our God’ means the church in which these things are.
Our church has a magnificent vision of a new quality of life. The New Jerusalem has descended in fulfillment of the Lord’s promise of His second coming. Its gates are open. Works of genuine usefulness are being done that bring delight to the spirit. There are new “palaces” which are inner states of true spiritual peace. The walls and streets of this city provide for beautiful harmony in the interactions among people, and all the variety of relationships are healthy and deep.
These present inner states give us hope that there will be a time and place on earth that the corresponding physical reality exists. We see glimpses of it in many places. On the one hand, positively, there is an increasing interest in spirituality; greater attention on the health of marriage, and outpourings of generosity and compassion in response to natural disasters. On the other hand, negatively, evil is becoming more manifest; there is an attack on the foundation of marriage; and religion is considered useless and even hateful.
Individually, we see that the Lord is active in our lives, providing for our eternal happiness. And yet we also can see our own evils, and see the hells at work. When we look at the world, we see the goodness in all nations, and the charity being expressed in aftermath of the devastation of natural disasters. And we can see people with little or no conscience acting exactly as they want to because there is no threat of punishment to coerce them into acceptable behavior.
One conclusion is that there is much yet to be done for the New Jerusalem to be established on the earth. The New Church doctrine has to be applied to life by more and more people, more and more consistently.
There are thus two prongs for our efforts to fulfill our mission. The first is personal and the second is public. Personally, we are all to find ways to worship the Lord Jesus Christ, discover truths from His Word, practice being spiritually aware, and act to build healthy, deep relationships.
There is the second, public prong because we have organized ourselves to fulfill the mission. If the organization did not exist, there would not be a need to gather, plan, and implement programs. Human hearts have a deep need for community, and that is why we go to the great efforts we do. And our minds have a need to figure out how to build community efficiently.
To emphasize this point: we have chosen to organize ourselves because a higher principle has motivated us. We can choose to not organize. We can choose to change what we are doing because we see the higher principle differently than before. No matter what, it is imperative that we each become conscious of the choices we are making, and make them intentionally.
Precursor September 2005