“But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.” (Revelation 21:22, 23)
“A person who has faith in the Lord and charity towards the neighbor is a church on a small scale. The church on the large scale is composed of people like this. It is a remarkable fact that every angel, no matter how he turns his body and face, sees the Lord in front of him. For the Lord is the sun of the heaven of angels, and appears before their eyes, when they meditate on spiritual matters. It is much the same with a person in the world who has the church in him as regards his spiritual sight. But because his spiritual sight is obscured by his natural sight, and the remaining senses endorse this, being directed towards bodily and worldly matters, he remains in ignorance of this condition of his spirit. This way of looking at the Lord, however one turns, is due to the fact that every truth, from which wisdom and faith arise, and every kind of good, which leads to love and charity, come from the Lord, and they are the Lord's with him. As a result every single truth of wisdom is as it were a mirror in which the Lord is seen, and every kind of good which is part of love is an image of the Lord. That is the origin of this remarkable fact. (True Christian Religion n.767)
The second coming of the Lord, which is the central event we celebrate as the birthday of the church, brings blessing to multiple levels of our life. On the surface is the peace and security of the presence of His love and truth. Fear of failure, condemnation or even death no longer runs our life, determining our action and speech. We talk of our future with a confidence born of our internalized knowing that we live forever. We are secure in the assurance that no matter what happens in the circumstances of our life, our eternal welfare is being cared for by the One who loves us. Instead of winning arguments, enforcing our will, or complaining about circumstances, we are able to see the Lord’s love in others, assured that He is leading them to heaven according to a perfect plan. Thus our regulation of our behavior is strengthened by means given to us through His second coming.
On a deeper level, when we think about the Lord, a gentle and bright light spreads to the edges of our mind. When we think about ourselves, we recognize our strengths and weaknesses and are hopeful for clearer vision of spiritual realities. When we think about someone else, we consider their unique talents, the blessing their gifts are to the world, and the use the Lord is giving them to serve. Thus our thinking is a response to the presence of the light of the Lord’s truth shinning into our minds, opened by the Lord at His second coming and filled with a knowledge of the spiritual meaning of His Word.
On this same level of our life, the second coming has opened a level of feelings that we share with the angels. Anger, joy, grief, anxiety, gladness, compassion, worry and bliss are some of the feelings in a full constellation of emotions. The spiritual freedom we enjoy allows us to examine, experience, and choose to relish or avoid feelings. We give less and less weight to feelings of ill will and more to commiseration. We feel more like our fellow human beings, and less alienated. The warmth of the Lord’s love is flowing in a free and powerful force for good. Thus our old will can be let go in favor of the new desire for good available because of the second coming.
Seem impossible? Perhaps you can alter your thinking to match the repeated teachings such as those of TCR 767. Turn your face to the Lord, the sun of heaven, which is rising into view. Feel the warmth of His love and inspect your life in the light of His truth. This is extremely difficult to do in many circumstances of our life. And yet it is clearly the task of our life. With the Lord, the coming is possible. We each must make the effort and give the attention necessary to discover how to participate
We can each, and all of us together, bring this light and warmth to the world. We each need the support of each other, and we each have support to give. Our support consists of what we do, think, feel and how we respond to inflowing love from the Lord. Yes, is the task of our life, it is hard work and it is long term. Yes we are being asked to change, to give up the old and familiar ways of being. Yes, this is risky. Let us remain encouraged by the sure knowledge that this work is the way the Lord brings the New Jerusalem to the earth, with its light, living waters and healing leaves. Let us pray for the necessary strength, courage and wisdom to successfully cooperate with the Lord.
Precursor June 2006